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Only Kashmiris can decide the future of Kashmir, Aziz tells Swaraj

Published Jul 24, 2016 07:49pm


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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, reacting to Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s statement on Kashmir, stated on Sunday that a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir.

“Such a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir and not by the External Affairs Minister of India.”

Aziz added the right to self-determination has been given to the people of Kashmir by the United Nations Security Council.

“It is high time that India allowed the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise this right through a free and fair UN supervised plebiscite,” stated the foreign affair adviser.

Aziz further said the world will accept the decision taken by the Kashmiri people, and it is their choice to either integrate with Pakistan or India.

Swaraj had also disagreed with Pakistan terming Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen separatist commander, as a martyr and stated Wani was a wanted terrorist.

“India cannot ignore the fact that over 200,000 Kashmiris participated in the funeral prayers of Burhan Muzaffar Wani in 50 different locations throughout Indian-occupied Kashmir, despite strict curfew which still continues 15 days after Wani’s extrajudicial murder on 8 July 2016,” replied Aziz to Swaraj’s earlier statement.

"Let us not forget, as one Indian writer has reminded us, that not long ago the British labelled Indian freedom fighters as traitors and terrorists because at that time India was considered an integral part of the British Empire,” added Aziz.

Aziz assured the people of Kashmir that the government and the people of Pakistan remain firmly committed in their moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris’ indigenous movement for self-determination and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir.

Swaraj on Saturday said Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must understand that "Kashmir can never become a part of Pakistan".

The Indian minister also accused Pakistan of backing militants with the help of UN-designated terrorists and notorious figures such as Hafiz Saeed, in order to turn the valley into a living hell.

Uptick in violence

The current episode of violence in India-held Kashmir is the worst civilian violence to hit the restive region since 2010, when mass protests broke out against Indian rule.

Wani, a 22-year-old commander of Kashmir's largest pro-independence militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), was killed along with two other separatists during a brief gun battle with Indian government forces.

Wani joined the HM group at the age of just 15, and was viewed as a hero by many in Kashmir. The state's former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted after his death that he had become the “new icon of Kashmir's disaffected”.

Witnesses said tens of thousands attended his funeral despite a curfew imposed by Indian authorities, chanting independence slogans and firing pistol shots in his honour.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called an emergency meeting to discuss escalating violence in India-held Kashmir amid anti-India protests that have left at least 30 people dead and hundreds injured in clashes with authorities.

Pakistan's Foreign Office has also condemned the violence in Indian-held Kashmir and the extra-judicial killing of Wani.

HM is one of several groups that for decades have been fighting around half a million Indian troops deployed in the region, calling for independence for Kashmir or a merger with Pakistan.

Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since 1947, but both claim the territory in its entirety.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting since 1989.


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Comments (35) Closed

Habib Rana Jul 24, 2016 07:59pm

Befitting reply!

Native kashmiri { Not fake } Jul 24, 2016 08:07pm

True and wise man said it in right way . The india has no authority and rights to dictate as what kashmiries should do or should stay with. It is solely the matter of Kashmirie people. These indians are totally unnecessarily poking nose in other matter. India should plan and prepare to allocate the land for 1 million army that is going to vacate kashmir in next few days of time.

art changes everything Jul 24, 2016 08:19pm

You've hit arrow right in the centre of bulls eye! Awesome response....

Abdulla Hussain Jul 24, 2016 08:26pm

A very precise & bold statement by Pakistan. Well said.

fahd Jul 24, 2016 08:41pm


Tridev Jul 24, 2016 08:44pm

Just talk . Nothing will come out of this.

Akram Jul 24, 2016 08:46pm

That's a much better approach than Nawaz Sharif's stance.

Ayub Jul 24, 2016 09:02pm

When the UN can not implement its resolutions on Kashmir, then what can we do? We also resorted to three wars, which badly affected our economy, but yet we could not liberate Kashmir. In the process, we lost one of our wings which badly demoralized our nation. We also built a nuclear bomb to win Kashmir, but it also did not help us. Do we have any other option, san UN resolutions, to liberate Kashmir and from it a part of Pakistan?

Ahsan Gul Jul 24, 2016 09:02pm

Mr. Aziz very sensible statement in reference to Kashmir. Indeed, Kashmirees have the right and should make their own country, constitution not India or Pakistan. India must respect human rights and dignity of Kashmirees, stop unnecessary bloodshed to implement UN regulations. Sincerely

Amin Daha Jul 24, 2016 09:15pm

Very well said Mr Sartaj Aziz.

AlfaMaverick Jul 24, 2016 09:17pm

Lip service won't bring any change to current geopolitical position. China only got Hong Kong back when it grew stronger than Great Britain.

Houlbelat Jul 24, 2016 09:45pm

Let us examine our own shortcomings. We had failed to meet the conditions laid by the UN for plebiscite in accordance with the UN resolutions. Then, we had again failed to meet Nehru under arrangements agreed during Ayub-Nehru joint meeting with Kennedy. Also, we agreed on some arrangements at Shimla but forget them all afterwards. Going further in our several CBMs and some meetings reaching promises but, suddenly we agreed to disagree without solid reasons. Finally, we must find the real culprits if we are not the planners of all events that blast and disintegrate our hard worked CBMs, like Mumbai carnage, Pathankot, etc.

Imran Jul 24, 2016 10:26pm

Bravo Mr. Aziz. Well said.

Ravi Vancouver Jul 24, 2016 10:45pm

These rehetorics from leaders of India and Pakistan regarding Kashmir achieve nothing practically except raising emotions about the issue among both side public. As for as UN is concerned it has deleted Kashmir from its list of disputed territories. After UN agreement there were some other mutual agreements between Pakistan and India like Simla agreement, attempt should be made to solve this problem using those agreements. War is not a viable option, so only other option is to take this matter again to UN by Pakistan and use help of their friendly countries to resolve this issue.

IAhmed Jul 24, 2016 11:00pm

Well Said, Sir!!!

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Jul 24, 2016 11:24pm

Truthful statement by Mr. Aziz on the burning situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the core and crux of which pertains to its illegal, immoral, uncalled for, unwarranted and unethical occupation by the Indian Army since over last seven decades against the U.N. resolutions, wishes of the brave Kashmiri people and the promises that Indian founding fathers had made to the whole world.

It's high time and the right time for the "movers and shakers" in India to know, realize and understand that in this age and time, nobody could militarily occupy anybody even if its the 3rd biggest military machine of the world like the Indian army. Therefore the best choice for them is to show the guts and the grit to call a spade a spade and fulfill their promises made to the world community and immediately organize a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir under the auspices of the United Nations.

VK, Dilli Jul 24, 2016 11:47pm

Statement : Politically correct. Outcome : ZERO.

A shah Jul 25, 2016 12:17am

No sir, 1.2 billion people belong to India and they decide what happens to it. No region, county foreign entity!

Adeel Jul 25, 2016 07:26am

Who on Kashmiri side died and said that they want to be a part of Pakistan Mr Aziz? Both Pakistan and India are claiming that Kashmir is part of one country or the other.. I am sure no Kashmiri want to be part of either.

Lahori Kid Jul 25, 2016 07:45am

This is where the Kashmiri's need to comment, so all the Indians and Pakistanis understand what really needs to be done,

SSG Wazir Jul 25, 2016 07:52am

Exactly sir you're right. I appreciate your statement.

david Jul 25, 2016 09:28am

@Native kashmiri { Not fake } you mean kashmiri muslims?

Jaan-Bhittani Jul 25, 2016 09:57am

Only Kashmiris can decide the future of Kashmir,,, Well replied Mr. Sartaj Aziz

shuaib Jul 25, 2016 10:12am

good statement and reply is there bravo!

Dipak Singh Jul 25, 2016 10:43am

@Habib Rana befitting reply also given by J&K CM you should also check for you info.

Kashmir Awam Jul 25, 2016 11:06am

Why don't you check the reply given by JK CM and Opposition Parties who represent the Kashmir.

Aatir ehrar Jul 25, 2016 11:32am

Finally people should realise this.

point of view Jul 25, 2016 12:00pm

@Houlbelat, true and sensible comment.

SAEED PK Jul 25, 2016 12:10pm

@Ravi Vancouver Did you mean another 70 years?

Sunil Jul 25, 2016 12:17pm

People of Kashmir decided to stay with INDIA long back when they voted in general elections of INDIA.

Saleem Khan Jul 25, 2016 01:36pm

Well said

Native kashmiri { Not fake } Jul 25, 2016 05:30pm

Kashmiri mulsim consist 85 percent of the jammu and kashmir population , therefore, as sane person should judge it by using the logic without asking naive question. Jammu and kashmir belong to it citizens , including Majority Muslims, sikhs and hindu , bhudist. All we kashmiries want is to expel and get vacated intruders and forceful occupying forces that india has deployed on our land.

Iqbal Kudi Jul 25, 2016 05:53pm

No chance of any meaningful bilateral talks after such tit for tat statements by both Pakistan and India.

Gus Jul 25, 2016 08:01pm

Statements has no value as it can not be implemented, Pakistan and India have some portion of Kashmir. They need to reconcile and develop friendship, else Pakistan will be impacted economically further,

Zain Jul 25, 2016 08:55pm

Kashmir should be freed. Pakistan should support and raise the issue with Russia, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and US. UN won’t and can’t do anything, until these countries do. Also Pakistan should start diplomatic relations with South American countries to support Pakistan over Kashmir issues.