LAHORE: The Kashmir issue now stands verifiably internationalised because of Pakistan’s spirited diplomacy for the cause and the snowball effect, which started with rescinding of Article 370 by the Indian government, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday.
Addressing a multiparty Kashmir conference, he said the Kashmir cause was now gathering pace by the day, adding that Indian failure to defend its position is also evident. No country around the globe believes in Indian mantra of “integral part and internal issue” any more, he said.
“The world parliaments are now discussing the Kashmir issue. The European Union is debating it today [Tuesday]. The Iranian Majlis has already done it and so is Turkish parliament. Some 27 Congressmen have written to the US government to take note of the Kashmir situation. Around 50 members of the [British] House of Commons have taken it up. What additional proof India now wants to realise that their point of view stands defeated around the world,” Mr Qureshi wondered.
“The United Nations, despite Indian resistance, took up the matter after 54 years of neglect. Although some of the OIC members decorated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Islamic body, as an organisation, stood by the Kashmiris and supported their cause. All human rights bodies in the world have come up with one report after another, highlighting abuses in the valley and told the Indians to correct their behaviour. All these factors lead to one conclusion: the Kashmir issue is now resounding all over the globe,’’ he said.
Underlining the role of Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora, he said when the government decided to mobilise the non-resident Pakistanis and Kashmiris, it turned out to be a tremendous success because of their determined participation.
Thanking Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, who was sharing the stage with him at the conference, for his role in the mobilisation, he said: “London, Brussels, Paris, Washington and New York have witnessed unprecedented demonstrations in favour of Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. For the first time Aug 14 was celebrated as Kashmir day and Aug 15 as black day around the world.”
Not only the world bodies but the Indian Supreme Court has also ordered restoration of normal life in held Kashmir. “The SC told the government to lift curfew, return communication network to Kashmiris and ensure normality in the valley. It also allowed Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition Congress party, who was earlier arrested and returned when he tried to visit valley, to go there,’’ Mr Qureshi said.
The conference adopted an 11-point resolution at the end, which condemned the Indian step of rescinding Article 370 and pledged to stand by the Kashmiris in their struggle.
Supporting high-spirited diplomatic push by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the conference asked the world community to ensure resolution of the Kashmir conflict according to the UN resolution.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019