LAHORE: PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif has condemned imposition of governor’s rule in Indian occupied Kashmir, saying this action reflects the abysmal failure of New Delhi’s Kashmir policy.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Shahbaz Sharif said: “The fact that a government of the BJP’s own choosing cannot complete its tenure indicates that India has failed miserably to manipulate or maintain its control in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Referring to the international reports on the human rights violations in Kashmir, the PML-N chief said: “The Indian army’s use of pellet guns is a crime against humanity. Sham democracy in Jammu and Kashmir has completely been exposed as a farce to hide the ugly face of Indian occupation in Kashmir. It is not a substitute for the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination. We fully support the efforts of the Kashmiri people towards seeking their inalienable rights enshrined in the UN Charter. We have stood by them through thick and thin and will continue to do so.”

Shahbaz Sharif had also welcomed the UN’s demand for an international investigation into human rights abuses in India-held Kashmir. “We support the call for establishing a commission for inquiry by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into human rights violations which asked India to repeal the draconian law — Armed Forces Special Powers Act — in held Kashmir.”

Over 6,000 pellet-gun wounds and thousands of maimed Kahsmiris testified to Indian crimes against humanity, he said.

In connection with the World Refugee Day, Shahbaz Sharif said: “We express our sympathy, support and solidarity with the world’s homeless and stateless persons -- 68 million. Pakistan has the distinction of having hosted the largest refugee population for the longest duration in history.” He said now more than ever, “we need to stand with refugees”.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018