Civil society calls for negotiated solution to Kashmir issue

05 Aug 2020

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Fishermen and PTI supporters take out a boat rally in solidarity with Kashmiris on Tuesday.—APP
Fishermen and PTI supporters take out a boat rally in solidarity with Kashmiris on Tuesday.—APP

KARACHI: Joining hands with several civil society organisations, the Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) issued a statement on Tuesday, on the eve of Yaum-i-Istehsal in which they condemned the one full year of restrictions and atrocities unleashed on the innocent people of India-occupied Kashmir by the Indian government.

It was exactly one year ago, when on August 5, 2019, the BJP government reversed the special status of India-occupied Kashmir by revoking article 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution.

Taking away autonomy of the people of India-occupied Kashmir, the step gave anyone from anywhere in India the right to own land in Kashmir.

The Indian government also shut down internet in the region and this continues as the people there suffer unprecedented repression and human rights abuses under heavy military presence.

The sinister intention of the BJP government is ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Muslim population in order to change the demography of India-occupied Kashmir, the leaders said.

Palestine Foundation Pakistan terms India and Israel threats to world peace...

The statement issued on Tuesday read: “We the members of civil society and PIPFPD believe that Kashmir is a humanitarian problem and not a territorial issue. We demand peaceful resolution to the decades-old dispute. We iterate our position that the revocation of Article 370 must come to an end and parties to the dispute should sit at the negotiation table. Repression is no solution while negotiation is the way forward to resolve contemporary issues.”

Those who endorsed the statement include Karamat Ali of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Anis Haroon of Women’s Action Forum, Uzma Noorani and Dr Haroon Ahmed, members of PIPFPD, Dr Tipu Sultan of Pakistan Peace Coalition, Mahnaz Rahman of Aurat Foundation, Nasir Mansoor of National Trade Union Federation, Habibuddin Junaidi of Peoples Labour Bureau and others.

‘India and Israel are threat to world peace’

Speakers addressing another press conference have said that Kashmir is the lifeblood of Pakistan while Palestine is the heart of the Islamic world.

They said that India had occupied the aorta of Pakistan while Israel was like a dagger in the heart of the Muslim Ummah.

The people, the government and the armed forces of Pakistan could work together to liberate Kashmir, they added.

The solution to the Kashmir and Palestine problems was possible only through armed resistance, warned Palestine Foundation Pakistan leaders.

Foundation leader Mahfooz Yar Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Muslim Pervez, PML-Q’s Syed Tariq Hassan, PTI’s Israr Abbasi and Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen Sindh president Allama Baqir Zaidi addressed the press conference.

The government should formulate a solid and comprehensive strategy for resolving the Kashmir issue, they said.

Palestine is the homeland of Palestinians and Kashmir is the homeland of Kashmiris. No power in the world can separate Palestine and Kashmir from their original inhabitants, they added.

India and Israel are a threat to world peace, and the international community should take action against them, the speakers said.

It should be noted that Yaum-i-Istehsal (the day of exploitation) is being observed on Aug 5 across the country at the request of the government.

The leaders demanded an end to Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir and independence of Kashmir and resolution of the issue in accordance with the UN resolutions.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2020