ISLAMABAD: Expre­ssing solidarity with the people of Kashmir on Pakistan’s 72nd Independence Day, President Arif Alvi on Wednesday said that not only the South Asian region but the entire world would face consequences in case of war between Pakistan and India.

“Do not misconstrue our desire for peace as our weakness,” President Alvi said while addressing a traditional Independence Day flag-hoisting ceremony at the Jinnah Convention Centre.

“It will not be merely a war between two countries but the entire region and the world will bear its consequences,” he added.

In view of the new spate of aggression in Occupied Kashmir and revoking of Article 370, the president urged the Indian government to stop its tyrannical activities and lift the 11-day curfew, allow access to the media, release detained Kashmiri leaders and provide basic urban facilities to the people.

He said Pakistan was a peace-loving country and did not want war but the country would not step back from jihad if war was imposed on it. The president said that the Indian government should act sensibly and not go to an extent from there will be no point of return.

Asks Delhi to stop its tyrannical activities, lift curfew in held Kashmir and release Kashmiri leaders

India, he said, was continuing Line of Control (LoC) violations by mortar shelling on civilian population across the border.

President Alvi said India had committed unprecedented aggression and tyranny in the occupied valley of Kashmir and the international community must play its role to force India for peaceful settlement of the dispute.

“Kashmir has become the biggest militarised zone of the world where in addition to 900,000 troops, 180,000 more military personnel have been deployed,” he added.

President Alvi said the Indian government’s unilateral move to end the special status of occupied Kashmir was a despicable conspiracy and blatant violation of the United Nations resolutions and the Simla Agreement.

“The Indian government should realise that with the use of state aggression and absurd measures, the movement for freedom in occupied Kashmir cannot be suppressed,” he added.

He said Pakistan rejected the unilateral decision of India to change the special status of Jammu and Kash­mir and had written to the UN Security Council to take notice of the inhuman move.

The president said Pakistan wanted to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspiration of Kashmiri people.

The world, he said, was watching how the people of Pakistan were standing with their Kashmiri brothers. “We will not leave them alone at any stage as Kashmiris are our people. We think of their pain as our pain. We have remained with them, we are with them today and will continue to do so,” the president said.

Various political leaders, including National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Inform­ation and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan attended the function.

Mashaal Malik, wife of detained Kashmiri leader Mohammad Yasin Malik, also spoke on the occasion and shared a poem she had written about the freedom struggle of people of Occupied Kashmir.

Earlier, a smart contingent of military forces presented a guard of honour to the president at the convention centre.

Flag-hoisting ceremonies were also held in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar.

Independence Day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the capital and 21-gun salutes in the provincial capitals, as well as a major event in Islamabad in which top government functionaries and armed forces’ officials took part.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2019