Nafees Zakaria criticises world community for its silence

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LONDON: Pakistan High Commission in London organised an event to observe the ‘Right to Self-Determination Day’ for the People of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. Members of Pakistani and Kashmiri Diaspora and representatives of civil society organisations and media attended the event.

On 5 th January every year, Kashmiris around the world observe Right to Self-Determination Day. On this day in 1949, the United Nations gave commitment to the people of Kashmir that the dispute would be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. Through this resolution, the United Nations affirmed its support for the realization of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiris.

The occasion was used to display photos depicting the Kashmiri victims. A spokesman for PHC said that these photos reminded the visitors of an unending trail of torture and atrocities, which have been duly documented by the international organisations and INGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, IPHRC, IPTK, JKCHR, international media, etc.

High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria addressed the attendees and gave interviews to the media. He briefed on the background of Kashmir dispute, and the human tragedy that has resulted from the non-implementation of the UNSC Resolutions. He criticised the international media and human rights organisations over their irrelevancy with the issue. He urged the international community’s immediate intervention to end bloodshed of the Kashmiris and delivery of justice to the victims.

The High Commissioner expressed that the grave human rights situation warranted punitive action against India. He regretted the inaction of the champions of the human rights protection in the face of persistent violations of the rights of the Kashmiris. “The world especially the champions of human rights are completely silent and don’t raise the voice against these atrocities”, he complained.

The High Commissioner said it has been over five months that the Kashmiris are under Indian siege, with reports of their killings, illegal detentions of tens of thousands, enforced disappearances and harrowing tales of torture by 900,000 Indian occupation forces as well as shortage of food and medicines adding to their sufferings.

Mr Zakaria said that Pakistan will continue its moral, political and diplomatic support to inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir as enshrined in the UN resolutions. He said the United Nations, especially the Security Council, has the responsibility to fulfil its commitment of granting the right to self-determination to the Kashmiris.

Pakistan High Commission has been regularly expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris since the siege started on 5th August 2019 with unilateral measures by India to change the status of Kashmir in violation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir and related international conventions.

The President, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan also issued statements for the occasion. It is noteworthy that no British personality attended the event despite it was announced that a number of British Parliamentarians are expected to attend and speak at the occasion.