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Parliament unanimously passes resolution condemning India's 'unilateral move' on Kashmir

Updated August 07, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a joint session of the parliament on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a joint session of the parliament on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

The joint parliamentary session convened on Wednesday to debate the country's future course of action in the wake of India's decision to scrap Kashmir's special status passed a resolution condemning New Delhi's "unilateral move".

The resolution was presented by Kashmir Committee Chairman Syed Fakhar Imam and was passed unanimously.

It rejects India's "illegal, unilateral, reckless and coercive attempt to alter the disputed status of Indian occupied Kashmir as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions".

Moreover, it decries "other regressive measures" to change Kashmir's demographic structure as well as "the recent surge in unprovoked firing and shelling on unarmed civilian population across the Line of Control and use of cluster bombs by Indian forces in Azad Jammu and Kashmir".

The resolution also denounces the "deployment of additional troops and atrocities in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and other recent developments".

It emphasises that the "enforcement and legitimacy of resolutions of the UNSC can never be diluted by unilateral actions".

The parliament, in its resolution demands that India stop the "brutalisation of the people of IOK through killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, mass blinding by pellet guns, and use of rape as an instrument of war".

It also stipulates that the communications blackout in occupied Kashmir be lifted, the "prolonged curfew regime" be ended, that India "stops its ruthless cordon and search operations, immediately releases the Kashmiri leadership and restores civil liberties and fundamental freedoms of the people of Jammu and Kashmir".

It further demands that "India honours its own commitment to the UN Security Council, Kashmiris and the international community".

The resolution calls upon the UN Security Council to take cognisance of the matter and the UN Human Rights Council to constitute a Commission of Inquiry. It also calls upon Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to "convene an extraordinary high level session immediately" and "work with the UN for an end to repression in IOK".

Furthermore, it urges the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and world parliaments to "censure the Indian Parliament’s role in violating UNSC resolutions and facilitation of unlawful actions in IOK".

Lastly, it calls upon the international community "to warn India to refrain from undertaking any irresponsible, unilateral actions that may lead to a dangerous escalation that will have far reaching impact not only for South Asia but the entire world".

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also presented a policy statement following a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) today which outlined the immediate actions the government will be taking.

These included the downgradation of diplomatic relations and suspension of bilateral trade with India and to take up the matter with the United Nations and its Security Council.

Furthermore, Qureshi said that the upcoming Independence Day will be "observed in solidarity with the brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right of self-determination" and that August 15 will be observed as Black Day.

Both National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani took turns presiding over the joint session.

India's enlightened voices terming Kashmir move a big mistake: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while addressing the session said that there are voices from within India itself which are crying foul over the move which scrapped Kashmir of its special status.

Qureshi quoting P. Chidambaram, a member of India's Rajya Sabha (upper house) of the Parliament and former finance minister, Qureshi said that the Indian parliamentarian had condemned the move, terming the decision a "big mistake".

He said that other enlightened ones in India, who do not subscribe to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology, are also reflecting similar views.

The foreign minister said that it had always been India's diplomatic agenda to bury the issue of Kashmir. "Sometimes they would say it is a bilateral issue, sometimes they would say we are not at all ready for a third-party facilitation, other times they would say mediation is completely unacceptable. This has always been their policy."

"And it has been their effort to hide the issue from the world. Today, I want to inform the parliament that with this move, India itself has internationalised the matter."

"Today in the whole world, the Kashmir issue is being discussed and the struggle of Kashmiris a point of debate. And the concern we have seen internationally is hidden from no one."

War crimes done by a rogue government: Mazari

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that India's actions in occupied Kashmir were tantamount to "war crimes done by a rogue government".

At the start of her address, Mazari said that in light of India's actions, the Pakistani people can call the Indian government a "rogue government".

"India has committed a war crime," she said, adding: "We are obligated to tell the whole world that India has committed an internationally recognised war crime."

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari addressing the second day of joint session of the parliament on Wednesday. — GOP Twitter
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari addressing the second day of joint session of the parliament on Wednesday. — GOP Twitter

She added that the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, which recognises Kashmir as a disputed territory, had been violated.

Furthermore, Mazari said that the Simla agreement, which states that India cannot unilaterally change the status of Kashmir, had been violated.

"The violence India is carrying out is clearly ethnic cleansing and genocide," she said, adding that the international community should be asked where the UN's right to intervene had gone. She noted that the international body had accepted the right to intervene if there was a fear of a genocide taking place anywhere in the world.

Mazari noted that even the Indian Supreme Court had in 2016 ruled that the status of Kashmir could not be changed.

"Whichever way you look at it, India's actions are war crimes committed by a rogue government."

Additionally, the minister said that the use of cluster bombs along the Line of Control (LoC) by India was also in violation of a convention regarding the use of inhumane weapons that India and Pakistan were parties to.

"We should draw the international community's attention to this," she said, adding that there was already a strong opinion in the international community regarding the matter.

"Pakistan is demanding that the UN Human Rights Council immediately form an independent investigation committee that will check the human rights violations conducted by Indian occupying forces in occupied Kashmir."

Mazari said that Pakistan had written to the president of the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General António Guterres. She said that the next step would be looking at the option of an emergency meeting of the UNSC, adding that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should also be used as an option.

"How will Muslim countries stay silent in the face of the violence taking place against Muslims?" she asked.

Read: Govt resolves to take up 'annexation' of Kashmir on international forums, fight BJP's 'racist ideology'

She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan's message presented in the joint session on Tuesday had made it clear that Pakistan would not remain silent.

Modi conquered Kashmir from Kashmiris: Rabbani

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said that a strip would be created along the Line of Control (LoC) and that would become the new Gaza strip of the subcontinent.

"If you look at it in the overall context, this is a nexus of Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi and, we are unable to understand this nexus.

"Have we forgotten that when Trump mediated he gave Golan Heights to Israel?"

He said that by creating the strip along the LoC, refugees would come into Pakistan through which the country would be kept under the threat of war.

"Modi conquered Kashmir from the Kashmiris for the Hindus."

"If India continues with its policy, it will be following a policy of state terrorism. [...] as a result of this state terrorism, there is going to be a genocide in Kashmir."

Modi's thought process will lead to India's disintegration: Zardari

Former president Asif Ali Zardari addressing the joint session. — DawnNewsTV
Former president Asif Ali Zardari addressing the joint session. — DawnNewsTV

While addressing the joint session, former president and co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari said that in his opinion, the Kashmir incident was as serious as the "East Pakistan tragedy".

He said that it was important to look at history to understand this, adding that PPP had been formed for the cause and sacrifices of Kashmir.

"Do you think India doesn't know that a tailor-made democracy is in place in Pakistan? Do they not know about the economic situation here?

"They know everything."

While referring to Prime Minister Imran's address at the joint session yesterday, Zardari said: "Our 'select' said that they [the Indian government] have a fundamentalist mindset. We all know that."

Zardari said that he didn't want to oppose the premier too much as everyone had to stand with the people of Kashmir.

The former president said that if this had happened on his watch, his first flight would have been to Abu Dhabi followed by a flight to China, Russia and Iran, where he would ask the leaders to show solidarity with Pakistan.

"I am hopeful that Modi's thought process will itself lead to the disintegration of India as he has buried the secular India that Nehru and Gandhi had envisioned."

Tell us what will happen in the future: Asif

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif addresses the joint session on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N leader Khawaja Asif addresses the joint session on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said that everything that was said yesterday during the first day of the joint session was in "total contradiction" with what Imran had said over the past year.

"It is not enough to read history, you should learn a lesson from history."

"Don't tell us about the past, we know it. Tell us what is to happen in the future."

Asif said that over the past year, there had been no response from India to Pakistan's efforts.

"We gave them a lot of sweetener, yet no response came from them."

The PML-N leader added that Prime Minister Imran had said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected a solution to Kashmir was possible.

Read: PM Khan sees better chance of peace talks with India if Modi's BJP wins election

"Even four months ago, he had hopes from Modi."

Pakistan was not ready for India's action: Raja Zafar

While addressing the session, PML-N's Raja Zafar said that this was a serious matter that should be paid attention to.

Haq said it appeared that India had prepared to take the action regarding occupied Kashmir, adding that it had also been included in the election manifesto for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

But, he said that it looked like Pakistan was not ready for India's decision to revoke Article 370.

While referring to Prime Minister Imran's statement during Tuesday's proceedings of the joint session, Haq said that when certain politicians suggested that the matter be taken seriously, the response they received was "Should I attack India?"

During yesterday's sitting, Prime Minister Imran, in response to Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif's speech, had asked the parliament to advise the government on what to do next.

"What measures have I not taken? Our Foreign Office has held meetings with ambassadors, I have reached out to other countries [and] we are approaching international forums. What does he [Sharif] suggest I should do, launch an attack on India?"

Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq addresses the joint session on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq addresses the joint session on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

Meanwhile, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq suggested that the government call an international conference in Islamabad. He added that a group of over 120 members including opposition leaders in Pakistan should be formed and sent around the world with regards to the matter.

"Don't just look at how America or the West will look at your decision, do everything Kashmiris are demanding of you right now," he said.


With additional reporting by Inamullah Khattak.