ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan have urged the international community to take note of gross human rights violations in India-held Jammu and Kashmir where the Indian government has imposed lockdown for almost a year.
The president and the prime minister expressed these views during their separate meetings with President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who met them on Monday.
“Innocent people of Kashmir have been subjected to human rights abuses,” said President Alvi.
He said the people of Indian occupied Kashmir were in extreme misery as India had unleashed a reign of terror against the innocent people, which was a clear violation of the UN resolutions.
IPU chief holds meetings with Pakistan leadership
Dr Alvi expressed the hope that the IPU would play its role in protecting the rights of the people of held Kashmir.
The president apprised the visiting dignitary of the smart lockdown policy of the government which successfully overcame the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president expressed the hope that the visit of the IPU president to Pakistan would help strengthen parliamentary relations between the parliament of Pakistan and IPU member parliaments.
Later, during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, the IPU president exchanged views on a wide range of issues related to inter-parliamentary cooperation, the Covid-19 pandemic and regional peace and security.
Mr Khan appreciated Ms Gabriela Barron’s contribution as the IPU president to advance the role of parliaments and parliamentarians.
He highlighted global health and economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and said that the government’s emphasis had been on saving lives, securing livelihoods and stimulating the economy.
“The smart lockdown policy and other measures taken by the government have led to a significant improvement in the pandemic situation in Pakistan,” the prime minister said.
Referring to India, Mr Khan said that the growing wave of Hindutva under the RSS-BJP dispensation was a serious threat not only for minorities in India, but also for regional and world peace and security.
As conflict resolution is one of IPU’s key strategic priorities, the prime minister underscored the importance of just resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for durable peace and stability in South Asia.
He underscored Pakistan’s long-standing support for a political solution to the Afghanistan issue and its positive contribution towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.
Ms Barron said her country wanted to work with Pakistan for promoting closer ties in areas of mutual interest.
The meeting at the Presidency was also attended by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi.
Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2020