LAHORE - The struggle of Kashmiri freedom fighters dates back to the time when the British and the Hindus conspired to annex the territory of Kashmir to India at the time of partition, NPT Chairman Rafique Tarrar said yesterday.

“It is ironic to see the double standards of international community which gets so noisy when it comes to gratifying the wishes of the people of South Sudan and East Timor, but keeps mum over the state-sponsored terrorism being perpetuated by the Indian troops against the unarmed Kashmiri people,” the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust chairman said during his presidential address at a special meeting held at the Aiwan-i-Karkunan-i-Tehreek-i-Pakistan as part of the Independence Day celebrations.

“More than a hundred thousand of Kahsmiris have already been martyred and thousands of them have gone missing,” he added.

Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Muhammad Barjees Tahir was the guest of honour at the sitting, where NPT vice chairman Prof Dr Rafique Ahmad, Chief coordinator Farooq Altaf, Chief Justice (r) Mian Mehboob Ahmad, Col (r) Ikramullah Khan, Parliamentary Secretary Rana Muhammad Arshad, Ghulam Abbas Mir, Ghulam Hussain Shahid, Syed Mushtaq Shah, Nasir Hussain Dar, Khawaja Mahmood Ahmad and a large number of people from various fields of life were also present.

Tarar went on to say that the global powers including the UNO were committing an act of criminal negligence by sweeping the Kashmir issue under the carpet. “To preserve their economic interests related to the huge size of the Indian economy, the global powers are ignoring the worst kind of brutalities of the Indian troops in Kashmir,” the NPT chairman stated and added that the fresh wave of unrest has left more than 75 protesters dead and 2000 injured.

“It is my earnest prayer that the Kashmir issue may be resolved during the rule of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in accordance with the UN resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he further stressed.

Barjees Tahir observed that the Kashmiris have been undergoing worst kind of trials and tribulations for the past 69 years. “Above ten thousands have been killed extra-judicially in the police custody. A hundred thousand orphans and thirty thousand widows are a living proof of the Indian troops’ atrocities and indifferentism of the international community. Five hundred thousand Kashmiris have been martyred so far.

“How dared the Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh term the Kashmiri martyrs as terrorists. It is state terrorism being perpetuated by India in the occupied Kashmir,” he added.

Nearly a month of unrest since the martyrdom of Burhan Wani has left 54 dead and over 4,000 injured, the federal minister said, adding that the Indian troops were firing bullets, tear gas shells and pellets from shotguns to break up the demonstrations. Internet services and mobile networks have been suspended, he further said.

Dr Rafique Ahmad stated that the history of the past thousand years reveals that the Hindus have never shown an attitude of conciliation towards the Muslims. “Pakistan should continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle to get their inalienable right to self-determination,” he suggested.

Mian Mehboob Ahmad stressed that the Kashmir Committee must be activated and the Organization of Islamic Countries should play its role in the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Rana Muhammad Arshad observed that the martyrdom of Burhan Wani has strengthened the Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom. Despite the brutalities of the Indian troops, the Kashmiri are flaunting Pakistani flags, which shows that Kashmir will soon be part of Pakistan, he added.

Col (r) Ikramullah Khan said the Kashmir issue was being neglected in order to contain Pakistan, lest it should become more powerful.

Muhammad Shafi Josh led a session of prayers for the martyrs of Indian occupied Kashmir at the end of the event.