LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris suffering at the hands of occupying Indian security forces and condemning abolition of special status of the held valley by New Delhi.

The resolution rejected the Indian government’s step of abrogating its constitution’s Article 370 and sub-section 35-A to abolish special status of the occupied state, and said the measure threatened regional peace, while a continuous curfew and violations of human rights there have become tragic.

It demanded the international community take notice of the state oppression and torture in the India-held Kashmir and the federal government appeal to the UN to send a team of the International Human Rights Commission to the valley. It also demanded the international media be allowed to go into held Kashmir so that the real face of India could be exposed.

The resolution said that Pakistan will continue extending political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris for their just cause to win the right to franchise.

Tabling the resolution, Punjab Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raja Basharat said that the holding of UN Security Council meeting was a diplomatic achievement for the country as India had so far been claiming that Kashmir was its internal issue.

He said scaling back of diplomatic and trade ties with India and observing Aug 15 as black day were, in fact, the measures taken by the government to express solidarity with Kashmiris.

Earlier, the opposition objected to omission from the resolution of the abrogation of articles 370 and 35-A by India and demanded it be re-tabled after amendment.

Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, who was chairing the session summoned on the requisition of the opposition, accepted the demand and the treasury was asked to amend the document, and in the meantime the house took up the Question Hour.

The opposition also protested when Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan criticised former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for not raising the Kashmir issue with Narendra Modi when the latter visited Raiwind a couple of years ago.

PPP parliamentary leader Hassan Murtaza staged a walkout after he was disallowed to speak on the Kashmir issue.

Others who took part in the debate on the decades-old dispute between Islamabad and New Delhi included Sardar Awais Leghari, Rana Mashhood, Tahir Khalil Sandhu, Uzma Kardar, Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, Tariq Gill and Sardar Shahabuddin.

The deputy speaker put off the session sine die when a treasury member pointed out that the house lacked the minimum required strength to continue with its proceedings and the condition could not be met even after ringing of bells for five minutes.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2019