India Must Exercise Restraint In Held Kashmir: Khar22 September 2011
New York: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar called on India to exercise restraint, accept Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) as a disputed territory and ensure that there are no further killings. She said this while talking to a ministerial panel of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Wednesday that the struggle of the Kashmiris for the right to self-determination had gained a “new momentum” that deserved full support of the international community and the Ummah. “It is our moral obligation and collective responsibility to support the Kashmiri people in their just cause,” the foreign minister said. “Recently the indigenous movement of the Kashmiri people has gained a new momentum,” she said, referring to the anti-India protests stemming from the rape of a young woman in Kashmir’s town of Kulgam at the hands of security forces and the custodial killing of a trader in Sopore. She also demanded that those responsible for 2,156 mass graves be brought to justice, political prisoners be released and those responsible for torture, brutalities and murders be convicted. “The people of Pakistan cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of their brothers and sisters in IHK,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar added. She regretted that even after more than six decades, the fundamental right to self-determination, which is enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, was being denied to the people of IHK. Indian forces, she said, have shown little regard for the concern of the international community over the human rights violations of the Kashmiri people. “Despite their long and strenuous struggle, the people of IHK have not given up hope nor has the Indian security apparatus been able to crush their spirit and aspiration for self-determination, she told the meeting. Pakistan, the foreign minister said, is committed to finding a just and peaceful resolution to the issue of IHK in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people and firmly believes that the Kashmiris need to be associated with the dialogue process. “Pakistan is convinced that the key to enduring peace, security and stability in South Asia lies in resolving the Kashmir dispute,” she said. “Pakistan has demonstrated seriousness of purpose and sincerity in seeking the resumption of the dialogue process with India,” Hina said. “We have resumed the dialogue process with India to resolve peacefully all outstanding issues through constructive and result-oriented engagement.” “Today, the people of IHK are experiencing the horrors of human rights atrocities on a daily basis, extra-judicial killings that surpassed 100,000 in the last two decades, torture, arbitrary detentions, involuntary disappearances and ruthless suppression of political expression,” he said. The APHC chief said over 4,600 mass graves have been located by an International Tribunal on Kashmir, but the Indian government was refusing to allow international human rights organisations to investigate. An Indian police team, operating under the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) verified the horrific discovery of 2,700 mass graves, identifying 574 bodies of disappeared locals.