Pakistan Urges UN to Act on a War Footing, Protect Lives of Kashmiris

Indian soldiers patrolling the streets of Kashmir

Pakistan has demanded that the United Nations (UN) take serious notice of the deteriorating human rights situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and play its role in lifting the curfew and other restrictions Kashmiris have been facing for the last 20 days.

The message was conveyed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is in France attending the G7 summit, on August 24.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad following the conversation, Qureshi said he expressed serious concern over the humanitarian crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) for the fourth time to the UN chief. “I urged the UN to step forward immediately and play its role in protecting lives of innocent Kashmiris on a war footing,” he added.

“UNSC resolutions entice you to act at the earliest. I also ask the UN chief to play his role in removing curfew in Kashmir and apprise P4 members over the whole situation.”

Qureshi said that he conveyed the Pakistani government’s gratitude to UNHCHR’s recent report on human rights violations in IOK. He also invited the UN chief to visit South Asia and Jammu and Kashmir region despite his tight schedule.

“The situation demands the UN chief to visit South Asia and especially the whole region of Kashmir on both sides of the border despite his tight schedule. So he can witness the situation on the ground and inform the world about it.”

The foreign minister said Kashmiris await international community’s backing and “if they [the world] disappoint them then they will be compelled to use any means to defeat this fascism by the Modi government.”

“After listening to my views and concerns, the UN chief said he would continue his efforts and convey our concerns to the world,” said Qureshi.

“The UN chief told me that he briefed the UNSC members over human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. He said all members desired peaceful resolution of the issue. We also desire the same solution, but for the last 20 days, there’s a lockdown in the valley in gross human rights violations,” said the foreign minister.

Commenting on the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the foreign minister said when people wanted to march towards UN office in Srinagar to record their protest on Friday, they were attacked by Indian forces with pellet guns and teargas shells.

“I salute those who capture scenes in IOK through their mobile phone so the world knows what’s happening in the occupied valley.”

Commenting on today’s development at Srinagar airport, Qureshi said, “India stands divided as shown by Modi government’s move of sending Congress leader Rahul Gandhi back from Srinagar airport in the next flight to Delhi”.

“The world has witnessed fascist Modi government’s real face today.”

A delegation of nine Indian opposition parties, led by Rahul Gandhi, visited IOK despite pleas by local authorities to keep away earlier in the day.

However, amid restrictions imposed in the region since the abrogation of Article-370, the delegation was not allowed to step out of Srinagar airport and was sent back after an hour, the Indian media reported.