BAKU     -   President Dr Arif Alvi Friday while calling Indian unilateral actions in Jammu and Kashmir ‘illegal, immoral and unethical’ said that it was time to resolve the internationally recognised Kashmir dispute justly and peacefully.

Addressing the 18th Summit of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement here, he said the Indian actions of August 5, 2019 designed to alter the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and change its demographical composition and identity constituted to a willful violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions and international law.

The President told the international gathering that the people of Jammu and Kashmir remained subjected to the foreign occupation for over seven decades.

He said that the Indian actions in Jammu and Kashmir represented a direct assault on the Kashmir’s right to self-determination which were illegal, immoral and unethical. He said that such draconian measures found no parallel in this age and time.

The President said that the denial of Kashmiris right to self-determination and mischievous attempt to associate their legitimate struggle with terrorism had run their course.

He believed that the self-serving tactics could not weaken the resolve of Kashmiri people to continue their struggle for inalienable rights guaranteed under international laws and consistently reaffirmed by the Movement.

The President said that the lasting peace in the region could only be achieved through the resolution of outstanding disputes which also hindered the growth and realisation of countries true economic potential.

He said that sustainable development was linked to peace and security and Pakistan had been an advocate and practitioner of this integrated approach.

He said that consistent with its vision for Naya Pakistan, the government had fully integrated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its national development plans.

The President said that the endeavours to achieve the SDGs would fail unless the structural causes of poverty were also addressed among and within the countries.  He said that it was imperative that international trade was free and fair for all the nations, investment should be made profitable for all partners and weak and disadvantaged nations and communities must be supported to eradicate poverty.

While reiterating Pakistan’s policy of peaceful neighbourhood, the President said that the government’s vision of peaceful development would continue to guide its efforts to help create an environment that fostered cooperation and development.

He said that Pakistan had demonstrated this commitment by facilitating political settlement in Afghanistan by supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

He said Pakistan remained concerned about the evolving developments in the Middle East and Gulf region and was endeavoring to facilitate a process to help ease tension and resolve differences through political and diplomatic means.

President Alvi said that Pakistan firmly believed in enhancing the accountability, transparency and representativeness of the United Nations and United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A reformed UNSC must afford NAM member states an equal opportunity to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security.

He told the gathering that the ambition of a few states specially those that willfully violated the UNSC resolutions, would be counter-productive and undermined the spirit of the UN Charter, international laws and the reform process. Meanwhile, Alvi and Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed the desire to further deepen ties through consistent engagements and by adding substance to them through increased trade and investment.

Both the leaders expressed these views at a bilateral meeting held in Baku. The President appreciated Prime Minister Mahathir’s statement for supporting a just and durable solution of the Kashmir issue through relevant UNSC resolutions in his speech to the UNGA.

The President highlighted the dangerous precedent set by India in its illegal and unilateral action in Kashmir in utter disregard of international law and norms.

Meanwhile, President Alvi said that Pakistan wished to see a stable and prosperous Afghanistan as both the countries enjoyed historic fraternal ties. In a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani, the two leaders exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest including peace and security in the region, and cooperation in development and connectivity projects.

The president expressed the hope that bilateral relations would further gain momentum in the upcoming years. He referred to the economic assistance provided by the Government of Pakistan in various sectors and reiterated that Pakistan would continue its efforts in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Alvi said Pakistan had been hosting more than four million Afghan refugees over the last four decades and the country had always emphasised for their return in a dignified and honorable manner.

In a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Alvi said Pakistan and Iran need to fully utilize the trade potential to further enhance bilateral economic relations.

He said that Pakistan considers Iran as an important country as both share more than 900km border, adding a strong people-to-people contact has further strengthened the bond of friendship between the two countries.

He briefed the Iranian President on the continuous lockdown and the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJK).

The President thanked the Iranian leadership for its continued commitment and support towards oppressed people of IOJK.