ISLAMABAD: Turkey on Tuesday reaffirmed its traditional support for the cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, expressing concern over the unresolved nature of the Kashmir dispute that had negatively impacted peace and stability in the region.
The Turkish leadership interacted with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special envoys, Muhammad Pervez Malik and Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha, who met a cross-section of the Turkish parliamentary leadership, think tanks, media and civil society.
The envoys apprised them of the violations of human rights being perpetrated by the Indian security forces in held Kashmir. They called on the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Ismail Kahraman, and briefed him on the atrocities being committed against the Kashmiri people who are demanding their legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination.
They highlighted that the death of the Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, had reignited an intense phase of the uprising in the region, which is also being characterised as the ‘Kashmiri Intifada’.
Drawing attention to the use of arbitrary force, live ammunition and pellet guns by the Indian forces to quell the recent protests in held Kashmir, the envoys underlined the need for an urgent intervention by the international community to bring to an end to the brutalities and conduct a fair, independent and transparent inquiry under the United Nations to hold the perpetrators of these heinous acts responsible.
The special envoys also briefed the speaker on the recent security situation in the region, including escalation of tensions through provocative rhetoric and incessant violations of the Line of Control by the Indian side, in order to divert international attention from the human rights situation in the region.
They thanked Turkey for its principled position on the Kashmir dispute and its consistent support for the Kashmiri people. Lauding Turkey’s active role in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, the envoys stressed the importance of its proposal to send an OIC fact-finding mission to Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Kahraman highlighted the cordial relationship between Pakistan and Turkey and thanked Pakistan and its people for their strong support and solidarity for Turkey against the attempted coup of July 15. He reiterated support for Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and pointed out that the two countries had always supported each other on their respective national causes, i.e. Kashmir and Cyprus.
Turkey, he said, was concerned at the unresolved nature of the Kashmir dispute as it affected peace and stability in the region, besides undermining prospects for the well-being and development of its people. In the current phase, Turkey had called for restraint and use of peaceful means to resolve the Kashmir dispute and reaffirmed its support for a negotiated solution within the framework of UN resolutions and taking into account the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
The special envoys met the chairman of the Pakistan-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group and visited the prominent Turkish think tank — Economic and Social Research Centre.
During the interaction, they called upon the media representatives to highlight the unprecedented brutality of the Indian security forces in held Kashmir, especially through the use of pellet guns that had permanently blinded and crippled a large number of Kashmiris, predominantly women and children.
The Turkish interlocutors reiterated their grave concern over the situation in held Kashmir.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2016