ISLAMABAD: Kashmiris will stage a forceful protest demonstration outside the United Nations General Assembly building against Indian brutalities in held Kashmir on Sept 26, the day when Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to address the assembly.

This was announced by former prime minister of AJK and president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in AJK Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry while speaking at a press conference here.

“India has been committing grave human rights violations in held Kashmir for 72 days and killing innocent Kashmiri women and children in the Valley. Kashmiris from all over the world would unmask Indian brutality before the world community,” he remarked.

Sultan Mahmood said the participants of the rally would be carrying Kashmiri flags and would express complete solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren waging a heroic struggle to achieve their cherished goal. He said permission for the protest demonstration had already been sought.

He claimed that this time the demonstration would be even bigger than the million march held by Kashmiris in New York last year. He said protest rallies would also be organised in several European cities, including London, Brussels, Paris and the Hague, the same day.

He said: “We are also trying to stage a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in Canada or Canadian parliament in protest against Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.”

Sultan Mahmood asked the world community to play its due role in persuading India to give Kashmiris their internationally recognised right to self-determination. He said Kashmiris were determined to continue with their indigenous struggle till its logical conclusion and stressed that the world should not play the role of a silent spectator at this crucial juncture.

About Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the UN General Assembly — one of the six principle organs of the world body — on Sept 21, he noted that it would be an exercise in futility. “Kashmiris want him to truly represent sentiments of 200 million Pakistanis and Kashmiris instead of delivering a formal speech,” he remarked.

He criticised Mr Sharif for what he called his decision to send some members of the National Assembly for ‘joyrides’ abroad in the name of projecting the Kashmir cause.

The prime minister should send a delegation of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (AJK chapter) to muster support for the Kashmir cause instead, he said, adding that true representatives of Kashmiris should be send abroad as it would have an impact.

Asked if he would accept any offer to lead a government delegation, he said, he had been doing it for years on his own and never highlighted the Kashmir issue through public money.

He said that Kashmiris in the held Valley had announced a week-long protest programme which reflected that they would not come under Indian pressure and continue to raise their voice against Indian atrocities.

He said people belonging to different schools of thought, especially human rights activists and social workers and Indian minorities, would be invited to participate in the rally.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2016

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