ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that human rights violations were at peak in Indian Occupied Kashmir and needed urgent world attention. The FM urged the international community to play its role in settling the dispute according to the United Nations resolutions. In his message on the International Human Rights Day, the foreign minister said that he wanted to draw the world’s attention towards the atrocities that were being committed in the occupied valley as eight million people were under curfew since August 5.

On 5 August 2019, the government of India illegally revoked the special status, or limited autonomy, granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution to occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian government’s action is the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years.

A presidential decree issued on August 5 revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of Occupied Kashmir in their just struggle for human dignity, respect of all fundamental freedoms, and realization of their inalienable right to self-determination. He said more than seven decades had passed since adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promising a world based on equality and protection of fundamental freedoms of all human beings without discrimination.

“Being one of the first signatories of the UDHR, Pakistan joins the international community in celebrating Human Rights Day, and reaffirming our resolve to promote the human rights agenda. On this occasion, we also pay tribute to the visionary leaders of Pakistan, in particular Begum Shaista Ikramullah, who was one of the three non-Western women who left a strong imprint on the UDHR,” he said.

Pakistan, he said, was fully committed to advancing and safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms of all our people, in accordance with the constitution and national laws.

“Mindful of our international and domestic obligations, we will continue to take institutional, legal and administrative stepsto ensure the promotion and protection of all human rights. We are following a multi-pronged strategy of advancing complementary objectives of sustainable development, human rights and democracy to create an inclusive society for all our citizens without discrimination, as envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah,” he said. Qureshi said that as a responsible State, “Pakistan has always supported inter-cultural and inter-religious harmony and mutual understanding. We believe in constructive engagement and cooperation among all stakeholders to further the cause of human rights.”

He said as the world commemorated this day, “we must remember people under occupation, facing gross human rights violations and being denied fundamental freedoms, including the right to self-determination. The people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir continue to face the worst form of brutalization and abuses by Indian occupation forces. Post-5 August, India has applied draconian measures to suppress Kashmiri voices from reaching the international community.” Qureshi said it was the obligation of the international community to take urgent steps to stop human rights violations and crimes against humanity in held Kashmir.

“We urge India to implement all UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and fulfil its own obligations related to protection of the rights of women and children. On this day, let me reaffirm Pakistan’s unwavering diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu & Kashmir in their just struggle for human dignity, respect of all fundamental freedoms, and realization of their inalienable right to self-determination,” he said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood yesterday briefed the diplomatic corps based in Islamabad regarding the continued human rights violations perpetrated by India in Occupied Kashmir. He said basic human rights are in abeyance in the held territory, with complete lock down and ban on communication. Sohail Mahmood said the Kashmiris demanding their right to self-determination in the light of UN resolutions were being subjected to pallet guns.

He apprised the diplomats that more than 100, 000 Kashmiris had been martyred in Indian oppression. The diplomatic corps was also shown a documentary that unveiled the Indian brutalities on the Kashmiris.