Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed Senate on Thursday that India had failed to crush indigenous Kashmir freedom struggle through atrocities and barbarism, saying the latest uprising was a glaring example of it which exposed it before the whole world.
Aziz pointed out that molding of public opinion in favour of Kashmir could be gauged from the fact that now Indian politicians, the media and civil society were also raising voice against what was going on in Held Kashmir and they were calling for a political settlement of the lingering issue.
“It’s a welcome sign that voices are being raised from within India against what it is resorting to in Kashmir,” he remarked.
Winding up a discussion in the House on the admitted adjournment motion, filed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), he asserted that the events, unfolding on July 08 and afterwards had again reiterated a basic point that the Kashmiris’ movement was indigenous and it had negated India’s propaganda of Pakistan’s involvement in it.
Aziz maintained that India’s allegation of Pakistan’s interference was far from reality and its statement that Pakistan should stay away from Held Kashmir, being its internal matter: was also legally wrong, as Kashmir was a disputed region: it did not belong to India; thus not its internal matter.
Referring to India’s use of brute force and resorting to pellet firing on Kashmiris, particularly, young boys and girls to suppress their resolve, the advisor said that this had rather added to Kashmiris’ determination to win the right of self-determination.
He also cited the ongoing strike in Occupied Kashmir and rendering of sacrifices by the Kashmiris after July 08. He added Islamabad had made it clear to the world community through stepped up diplomatic and political initiatives that the voice of Kashmiris could not be suppressed though the state terrorism by India. He said Pakistan had always condemned it strongly.
The advisor explained that so far 50 Kashmiris had laid down their lives since July 08, 3500 were wounded while 120 had been either maimed or rendered blind, owing to Indian forces’ barbarism.
On this occasion, he informed the House that the special meeting of the Cabinet had decided to convene a joint sitting of the Parliament’s two chambers shortly to not only formulate a policy of national consensus but also thrash out a strategy on how to move forward on Kashmir issue.
Aziz said the government supported Syed Ali Gilani’s formula on Kashmir and hoped the Indian government would also respond to it.
He noted that the government would also like to have headway on a good proposal of joint Kashmir committee of the National Assembly as well as the Senate.
About the government’s initiatives, he said that about July 08 events, Prime Minister issued a statement as well as the Foreign Office and the Indian High Commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office a protest was lodged: the P-5 countries were apprised of the situation in Held Kashmir and diplomats of Muslim countries were also briefed on the issue.
The adviser added letters were written to the UN Secretary General, the OIC Secretary General, Human Rights Council Chairman, urging them to take notice of human rights abuses in Occupied Kashmir.
These steps, he noted, produced some positive results, which included the statement of UN Secretary General, expressing concern over the issue and the United States, China, Human Rights Watch and the Amnesty International also issued statements.
He revealed that the Human Rights Council was being approached to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Occupied Kashmir to see how human rights were being abused and that use of pellets be banned.
Taking part in the debate, Senator Sirajul Haq said that the martyrdom of Burhan Wani had infused a new life among the Kashmiri people, adding the people of Kashmir are in fact, fighting for Pakistan and not for Kashmir as it is our jugular vein.
He said the entire world was hearing the cries of the innocent Kashmiri children and women but the rulers in Islamabad were deaf and dumb and were not ready to raise a voice against the brutalities of the Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
We want to give a message to the Kashmiri leaders Syed Ali Gilani, Mir Waiz Farooq and others that the entire Pakistani nation is with them and the day was not far when the sun of independence would arise over Srinagar,” he maintained.
Senator Haq also called upon the UN to implement its resolution on Kashmir to regain the confidence of the world community.
At the same time he warned the international community that there is a possibility of war between the two nuclear neighbours if it remained silent spectator in resolving the Kashmir issue.
Regretting over the incompetence of both present and past governments to resolve the Kashmir issue, the Jamaat-e-Islami senator proposed to convene a joint sitting of parliament to discuss the recent killing in IOK.
He questioned the inability of United Nations in playing its due role despite seeing the Indian atrocities in the valley, saying it was the UN that created South Sudan, East Timor as separate countries but is mum over Kashmir.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that Kashmir is a good case with bad lawyers. He said that neither India can keep whole Kashmir under control by force nor Pakistan is in position to take it by force.
Mushahid said that Kashmir was among top national priorities of Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership should be included in all level of discussions and negotiation on Kashmir. “Both neighbours need to resolve the issue through dialogue,” he added.
Senator Chaudhary Tanveer Khan said that if Jihad had been incumbent upon us, Kashmir would have been freed long, long ago. Senator Sherry Rehman put forth ten-points for early resolution of Kashmir and exposed the Indian atrocities on innocent Kashmiris.
She proposed that a joint-sitting of parliament should be convene to discuss the issue. “The parliament should play its due role as the issue can be solved politically and not military,” she added.
She also criticised the National Assembly standing committee on Kashmir affairs, saying its role to highlight the Kashmir cause has been very disappointing, adding it must be abandoned or some senators should also be made its members.
Another proposal which Sherry floated was trips to think tanks and media person to different countries, so that the issue could be highlighted more vigorously. She also said that a special envoy on Kashmir should be appointed.
She said that EU is an important forum which must not be ignored, adding the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), which has already taken up the recent killing of Kashmiris should be asked to do more.
International Union of Journalist can also play important role as India has completely banned the media in IOK in wake of recent killing, she said, adding there is a need to activate the United Commission on Human Rights.
We also need to work on how we can change the global narrative on Kashmir. Political prisoners in Kashmir be freed besides allowing the doctors without borders to set up camps in the valley,” she added.
Senator Sehaer Kamran accused the ruling Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N) of intentionally not pursuing the Kashmir issue, adding the reluctance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to meet Hurriyat leaders during his visits to India is testimony of how serious it takes the Kashmir issue.
Senator Hafzi Hamdullah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam -Fazal (JUI-F) commended the remarks passed by chairman Senate during speeches by the MPs in Senate, saying he ‘never knew when the chairman [Rabbani] became anti-American’.
This prompted Rabbani to break the silence and said that he has been anti-American during his student life. Rabbani kept passing anti-US remarks throughout the session, criticising the US as well as the UN.
“Let us send a strongly-worded resolution [condemning the Indian atrocities on Kahsmiris] by Senate of Pakistan to the imperialists’ world capitals and the UN,” he observed.
Senator Hamdullah regretted that when Burhan Muzaffar Wani was martyred by Indian forces in Kashmir on July 8, Pakistanis were standing in long queues outside cinemas to see newly released Indian film ‘Sultan’.
Senator Dhamra of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) condemned the OIC for its poor role in taking up the issues faced by the world. “The OIC is nothing more than ‘Oh I see [OIC], and we need to pursue the issue of Kashmir through other means,” he added.
Senator Najma Hameed of PML-N expressed disappointment that if the issue of Kashmir could not be resolved during the last seventy years, it would never be freed, adding both India and Pakistan must relax visas for their citizens so that they can visit their relatives.
Senator Muhammad Hamza who was born in Indian Punjab before partition also endorsed the idea floated by fellow female senator of his party.
Resolution: The Senate passed a unanimous resolution, strongly condemning the recent terrorist attack in Madina Munawara in Ramazan.
The resolution moved by Hafiz Hamdullah of JUI-F expressed complete solidarity with the bereaved families. It said that the attackers are the enemy of whole Muslim Ummah and they have no religion. It demanded to evolve a joint strategy to combat and eradicate the curse of extremism. -Business Recorder