Joint session of Parliament condemns Indian move

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ISLAMABAD, AUG 07 (DNA) – The joint session of the Parliament continuing discussion on situation of occupied Kashmir today.The session is also discussing the Indian government’s move to revoke Article 370 in the Indian Constitution which grants special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.Taking part in the debate, Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari said Indian attempts to change the status of Occupied Kashmir are not only illegal, but they also defy the Geneva Convention which attributes any change in demographic composition of held territory as war crime.She said with the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A India has violated the Shimla Accord, the decisions of its superior courts and all international norms. Even the Supreme Court of India gave a ruling in 2016 that central government cannot change these articles without the approval of state government.

The Minister said the atrocities perpetrated by Indian security forces on innocent Kashmiris are tantamount to genocide of native population and we must make efforts to persuade international community to take action and stop India from these acts.

She said it is responsibility of the international community to intervene when there is a serious risk of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Referring to Indian use of cluster bombs on innocent population in Azad Kashmir, she said both Pakistan and India are signatories to Convention on Cluster Munitions and India has violated this international agreement. She said our government has written a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and apprised of these violations of human rights. Our government has also demanded the UN to set up an independent investigative committee to find out the human rights abuses being committed in Indian held Kashmir.

Dr. Shireen Mazari said government will use all international forums to highlight the gravity of the situation and will also make efforts for calling a special meeting of the UN Security Council.

She said we have to inform the world community that Pakistan will not remain silent if any misadventure is done against us.

Leader of Opposition in Senate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said India had been preparing for this step for long and already paved the way for domestic and international public opinion in its favor. Pakistan needs to mobilize the international public opinion against this step as Kashmiris are suffering immense human rights abuses by an occupying force. He said the UN Charters binds its members to avoid such steps that are discriminatory to native populations.

JUI-F Parliamentary Leader Maulana Asad Mehmood said Pakistan stands with its Kashmiri brethren steadfastly. He said a strong message should be sent from Pakistan parliament that all political parties are on same page to condemn the Indian step. He said the international community should be persuaded to play a bigger role by forcing India to stop the oppression of innocent Kashmiri people. He questioned that if the US with all its military might could not succeed in occupying Afghanistan, how could India do the same in Kashmir.

Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj ul Haq said India cannot suppress the right to self-determination of Kashmiris by use of brute force. He said India planned well ahead to carry out its plan of changing the demographic composition of Kashmir to annex the land. He warned that if a strong response is not given to India now, it can claim Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in the next phase. Siraj ul Haq said the lives and death of Kashmiris are with Pakistan and they see their future with us. He said it seems India revoked the articles granting special status to Kashmir in connivance with the US and other world powers.

He urged the government to organize an international conference in Islamabad to effectively highlight the issue of Kashmir to the world delegates.