LAHORE    -   Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that the indigenous struggle of Kashmiris had entered a new phase after Pakistan effectively raised the issue at all world forums.

Addressing All Parties Conference on Kashmir, organised by PTI Punjab chapter here at a local hotel, he said that the special session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Kashmir was a big success of the government of Pakistan on diplomatic front.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, PTI Central Punjab President Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, former foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri and AJK President Sardar Masood Ahmed Khan also addressed the conference. Qureshi claimed that the UNSC session had made it clear that the issue would be resolved as per the UN resolutions. “India has made hectic, but futile efforts to forestall the UNSC session on Kashmir held after 54 years,” the minister said, and added India even tried to link the unarmed struggle with terrorism.

He said that there was clear division on Kashmir even in India where there were sane voices as well calling for respect for the rights of oppressed Kashmiri people.

Urging the Indian Supreme Court to allow foreign media into the occupied Kashmir, the foreign minister said the permission granted to Congress leaders was a good step and was a negation of nefarious designs of a fascist Modi regime. He said the world had rejected India’s claim that Kashmir was its internal matter and not an international issue. Qureshi said that the European Union (EU) parliament had discussed the Kashmir issue for the first time in its history.

Realising gravity of the situation, he said, Prime Minister Imran Khan summoned joint session of the parliament to forge consensus on the issue despite political differences. “On the recommendations of the parliament, he said the government made hectic efforts to internationalize the issue,” the minister said, and added, “All measures were taken to mobilize people for the Kashmir cause. Independence Day of Pakistan was observed as a day of solidarity with Kashmiris while that of India as a Black Day.”

He was all praise for overseas Pakistanis and Kashmiris for holding large protest demonstrations across the globe. Qureshi said it was because of PTI government’s proactive foreign policy that more than 50 British parliamentarians and 27 US congressmen supported the Kashmiris’ struggle.  The minister said mobilising Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the issue was a big challenge.

Qureshi said people in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) were victims of the worst human rights violations as they were deprived of their right to worship, social life and freedom of movement. He said that the Indian occupation forces were targeting the protesters with tear gas and pellet guns. The minister challenged the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold a plebiscite in the valley to ascertain how much popular his decision to annex the state was.

He said that India’s unilateral action of abolishing the special autonomy given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 was a turning point in the just struggle of people of the state for their right to self-determination.

Qureshi said that PM Imran Khan would visit Saudi Arabia on September 19. “We have important some important meetings over there,” he told the participants, and urged them to formulate future road-map for highlighting the issue and supporting the just cause of Kashmiris.

Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said the government was effectively presenting the Kashmir case before the world. He appealed to overseas Pakistanis to utilise their all links to support the just struggle of people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination. Blasting the Indian government for inflicting untold miseries on hapless people, he lamented that even international observers were not allowed to visit the region.