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Every Pakistani is advocating Kashmiris’ right to self-determination: FM Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing the Senate session in Islamabad, on January 5, 2021. — Facebook/SMQureshi.Official

Every Pakistani is advocating Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Tuesday, as he urged all parties to “rise above politics” to address the issue.

Addressing a session of the Senate, the foreign minister said that a blatant violation of human rights was underway in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

However, despite India’s oppression, the struggle of Kashmiri people continues, he said, adding that the state could not discourage the valley’s people even through a prolonged lockdown.

The foreign minister, stressing that parties should rise above politics for the issue, said that JUI-F, compared to any other political party, had several opportunities to highlight the matter.

“A unanimous message should go from this house on Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” FM Qureshi said, adding that a uniform policy should be drafted on the matter.

He said, for deliberations over the issue, the Foreign Office’s doors were open to the Opposition. “I had written a letter to Bilawal Bhutto and Shahbaz Sharif that I would give them a briefing on Kashmir at the Foreign Office.”

“It saddens me that they did not respond to my letters,” he lamented.

The foreign minister, saying that he would do everything in his power for the cause, asked: “Didn’t PML-N and PPP get the chance for the Kashmir issue?”

Qureshi said that the PTI-led government had made “historic” efforts to raise the issue of the region in the last two years. “Record number of protests have taken place” in our tenure, he highlighted.

Slamming the PML-N, he accused them of putting the Kashmir issue on to the backseat. “Integrating Kashmir into India was part of Modi’s manifesto even when he was your guest at Jati Umra.”

Meanwhile, speaking about the United Nations’ promise of self-determination to the Kashmiris’, he noted that the international body could not fulfil it.

The foreign minister said that despite the presence of 900,000 in the occupied valley, the Kashmiris’ did not step back from their demands.

Talking about Pakistan’s steps for Kashmiris, he said: “We have raised our voice for Asiya Andrabi at the United Nations.”

Speaking about US President-elect Joe Biden, he said that the former vice-president had a vast experience in foreign policy.

“Joe Biden has raised his voice on the matter of Kashmir,” he added.

PM Imran urges UN to fulfill promise

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast support for the people of occupied Kashmir, reminding the international community — especially the UN Security Council — of honouring its commitment in this regard.

The prime minister vowed support to the Kashmiris in connection with the observance of Kashmiris Right to Self-determination Day on January 5.

“We call on the international community to take action against the well-documented human rights violations being committed with impunity by Indian occupation forces against innocent Kashmiri men, women and children; and to ensure Kashmiris get their right to self-determination,” he wrote on Twitter.

Despite suffering 73 years of brutal Indian occupation, the premier said generation after generation of the Kashmiri people remained steadfast in the demand for their inalienable right to self-determination as guaranteed to them under the UN Charter and by the UNSC (United Nations Security Council).

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