ISLAMABAD          -    Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday urged the international community to take due cognizance of Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris in the occupied Jammu and  Kashmir and hold India accountable under international law and relevant human rights conventions.

The United Nations and the international community must take immediate action to stop India from changing the demography and distinct identity of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), the  minister said in a special message read at the online conference on “Kashmir : Regional and International Dimensions” held at the Ankara University, Turkey.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan, Member British House of Lords Lord Nazir Ahmed and Pakistan’s Ambassador in Ankara Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi also spoke on the occasion.

The minister said the recent promulgation of  “Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure), 2020” by the Indian rulers was clearly aimed at changing the demographic structure of Kashmir and undermining the exercise by the Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through free and impartial plebiscite as per the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

“Pakistan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, will continue highlighting the plight of Kashmiri people at all international fora till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions,” he added.

He lamented that while the international community was pre-occupied with fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, India has further intensified its brutalization of the Kashmiri people.

The Kashmir conflict, Shibli Faraz said, could have far reaching consequences, both regionally and internationally, something the world could ill-afford to overlook. The Hindu supremacist regime had unleashed unprecedented repression on the Kashmiri people, he added.

The minister said the fascist Indian government, in a highly undemocratic rather draconian style, repealed the autonomous status of Kashmir at midnight of August 5, 2019. To avoid the protests, the fascist Modi put nine million people under the harshest lock-down, the humanity had ever witnessed. It shut down the Internet and phones, abducted children from houses, and arbitrarily detained thousands of Kashmiris, including political leaders, activists, journalists, lawyers, and potential protesters. Thousands remained in detention without charge or under house arrest to date, he told the conference.

He said the humanity would have hoped that the corona pandemic might have brought a moment of relief for the Kashmiris, “but one’s heart pains to state that Indian brutalities see no end to it. India continues to pursue its expansionist designs under the cover of corona pandemic.”

He said the global media watchdogs, Indian and international human rights groups, and civil society organizations had expressed deep concerns over unprecedented restrictions imposed on the media, the widespread intimidation of Kashmiri journalists, and the precarious state of their work environment.

Shibli Faraz stated that the martyrdom of each Kashmiri would further fortify the Kashmiris’ resolve for freedom from Indian occupation. Kashmiris would never give up their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions, and the leadership and people of Pakistan would never flinch in their commitment of full support for the Kashmiris towards that end, he said.

The minister appreciated the Ankara University’s initiative to highlight regional and international dimensions of the Kashmir issue and lauded unflinching support by the Turkish brethren for the Kashmiri people.