Held Kashmir’s annexation can drive Pak, India into ‘accidental war’: Qureshi

International Desk
11 September 2019, Wed
Published: 04:53

Held Kashmir’s annexation can drive Pak, India into ‘accidental war’: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has once again warned that India’s illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir could drive the two nuclear-armed neighbors “into an accidental war”.

In his address to the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) here on Tuesday, Qureshi noted that India has turned the held valley “into the largest prison on this planet.”

Quoting international media reports, he said thousands of Kashmiris were detained without future whereabouts in addition to children being tortured and women raped and, subsequently, killed.

As Qureshi continued to remove the mask of secularism from India’s fascist face, he evoked past and current atrocities in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

“The forlorn, traumatized towns, mountains, plains and valleys of Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir reverberate today, with the grim reminders of Rwanda, Srebrenica, the Rohingya, and the pogrom of Gujarat.”

“I shudder to mention the word genocide here, but I must… The Kashmiri people in the occupied territory – as a national, ethnic, racial and religious group of people – face grave threats to their lives, way of living and livelihoods from a murderous, misogynistic and xenophobic regime.”

“Today, I have knocked on the doors of the Human Rights Council, the repository of the world’s conscience on human rights, to seek justice and respect for the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”

“We must not allow this august body to be embarrassed on the world stage. As a founding member of this council, Pakistan feels morally and ethically bound to prevent this from occurring,” Qureshi stressed, adding that in order to do so the body should not remain indifferent to the tragedy that was unfolding in Kashmir.

Tensions between Pakistan and its southeastern neighbor have been heightened since Aug 5 when New Delhi unilaterally stripped the occupied valley of its special status through rushed constitutional changes.

The valley remains under a complete security lockdown and communications blackout that has entered its second month. Independent media reports have noted that despite a 24/7 curfew, over 200 incidents of protests and demonstrations have occurred in the valley. According to a CNN report, more than 2,000 natives, the majority of whom are Muslim, have been detained.

“Once the curfew is lifted, the reality comes out, the world will wake up to the catastrophe that is underway right now,” Qureshi told reporters after the session.

Pakistan also issued a statement on behalf of 60 friendly countries calling for respect of human rights, an end to the curfew and communications shutdown in Kashmir and “unhindered access” for international media and human rights groups in Kashmir.

In her response, India’s envoy, Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Vijay Thakur Singh, followed her country’s policy of employing blame campaigns against Pakistan and accused it of giving “a running commentary with offensive rhetoric, of false allegations and concocted charges against my country.”

Qureshi, while speaking to reporters afterward, said: “I do not see in the present environment any possibility of bilateral engagement with India.”

Noting that US President Trump had offered to mediate, which was refused by India, he said: “India is acting irresponsibly. They’re being belligerent.”

“We welcomed it [external mediation],” Qureshi said. “And India said, ‘No, no, no, no. Don’t worry, we’re going to resolve things on our own.’ They cannot be resolved. That cannot be resolved bilaterally.”

He also urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council to help defuse tensions. Source: Pakistan today