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ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has written letters to the speakers and presiding officers of the 198 Inter-Parliamentary Union member parliaments drawing their attention towards the fraud committed by the Indian government against the people of Indian occupied Kashmir.

The speaker called upon them to raise voice against heinous crimes committed by India and help the people of Kashmir in achieving their right to self-determination as pledged to them by the United Nations Security Council.

“On August 5, 2019, the government of Mr Narendra Modi [Indian Prime Minister] unilaterally scrapped Articles 35-A and 370, respectively from the Indian constitution, which had granted limited internal autonomy to the occupied state of Kashmir till its final settlement and that of its populace.

“By doing so, the government of India, has, by usurpation, formally annexed the disputed territory, depriving the people of Kashmir to the sole nationality and property rights in the state,” read the letter.

The speaker added: “This latest assault of annexation is in addition to the excessive use of force as well as exhaustively-documented human rights abuses carried out by the Indian forces in IOK since last seven decades.”

The speaker said the deteriorating situation between the two nuclear neighbours can put the entire world peace into severe danger because of the hegemonic designs of New Delhi.

The speaker said Article 35-A and 370 of the Indian constitution were inserted by the founding fathers of India as a mark of their commitment to the UN Security Council resolutions of 1948 towards a peaceful and negotiated resolution of Kashmir as per the aspirations of the people of Kashmir through a free and fair plebiscite.

He said the Indian government had long backtracked from that commitment thus putting the last nail in the coffin by even depriving the people of IOK of the limited autonomy they had till now.

Apart from this, the entire pro-plebiscite Kashmiri leadership and former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have been put under arrest. He said the annexation had been carried out through a handpicked governor on whose lone advice the entire constitutional arrangement has been packed while the puppet legislative assembly of IOK has been held in abeyance.

The speaker said the occupied Kashmir Valley had virtually been put under siege with a dawn-to-dusk curfew, suspension of internet services and a complete blockade of any other means of communication. He said such desperate actions have further aggravated an already grave situation in the region.

Moreover, there are daily unprovoked violations of Line of Control (LOC) with massive shelling from the Indian forces on civilian and military targets on the Pakistan’s side of Kashmir.

He said the Indian armed forces used cluster bombs against civilians, killing and injuring men, women and children living alongside the LOC during the last week.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2019