ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday warned that the humanitarian situation in India-held Kashmir was aggravating because of the continuing lockdown and communication blackout there, which is now in its 126th day.
In his weekly media briefing, FO Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said the crippling Kashmir lockdown had affected lives of millions of Kashmiris.
“Over eight million people in the IOJ&K remain cut off from the world, with continued concerns being raised about lack of medical supplies and other basic needs. These inhuman and unilateral actions by India are continuing despite widespread international condemnations,” he said.
India imposed lockdown on Jammu and Kashmir on Aug 5 this year at the time of revocation of Article 370 that ended the autonomous status of the occupied region. It was feared that the curfew and lockdown would create shortage of food and medicines. Additionally, about 13,000 Kashmiris, including some prominent pro-India leaders, were arrested.
The spokesman urged the Indian government to immediately restore internet and mobile phone services, release all prisoners, especially civil society members and the abducted young children, remove Public Safety Act and other draconian laws, and allow the independent media and international human rights observers to visit the region to independently observe the situation of the Kashmiri people.
PM to attend five-nation summit of Muslim countries in Malaysia
He also called on the United Nations, international organisations, human rights bodies and other countries to denounce the brutal suppression of religious rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people by India in violation of international laws and conventions.
“The Indian government cannot suppress aspirations of the people of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir for exercising the right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Security Council Resolutions,” he added.
He said that India would fail in its attempts to suppress the voice of Kashmiris and change the status of the occupied region. “There can be no resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir Dispute without taking into account the wishes of Kashmiri people, in line with UNSC Resolutions,” he maintained.
In reply to a question about the joint statement issued by India and Japan after their 2+2 dialogue of foreign and defence ministers, Dr Faisal said that Pakistan had through diplomatic channels conveyed “disappointment and concern” to Japan over the statement.
The statement had referred to the threat posed to regional security by alleged “terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and called upon it to take resolute and irreversible action against them and fully comply with international commitments including to FATF”.
The spokesman said: “Japan is well aware of how much Pakistan has suffered and sacrificed in its counterterrorism efforts. Our counterterrorism contributions were publicly acknowledged by the then Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (now Defence Minister) during his visit to Pakistan in January 2018.”
PM’s visit to Malaysia
The spokesman said that PM Khan would participate in the Kuala Lumpur summit on Dec 18-20 on the invitation of his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohamad, adds APP.
“The summit will provide Pakistan an opportunity to explain views and find solutions to challenges facing the Muslim world, particularly governance, development, terrorism and Islamophobia,” he said. The summit is an initiative of Dr Mahathir to gather five Muslim countries: Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar and the host Malaysia to boost up cooperation to achieve socio-economic development.
Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2019