ISLAMABAD, AUG 4 /DNA/ – “The resolution of the Kashmir dispute is essentially a political choice that the powers that be in the international community have yet to make despite the unacceptable and bloody colonisation of illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It is a fundamental right of the Kashmiri people to decide who governs them and how, and this inalienable right is being denied to them.”

Speaking on an international webinar on Kashmir’s Youm-e-Istehsal, a day of solidarity observed across Pakistan to mark the second anniversary of the revocation of the autonomous status of Illegally occupied Kashmir, Pakistan People’s Party Vice President and Chair Foreign Affairs Senate Standing Committee, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “Since 5th August 2019, the Modi government has wreaked havoc with singularity of purpose while the world watched, and it is now attempting to change the demography of the Muslim majority valley by deploying troops to intimidate and arrest critics, while trying to force a military solution on the dispute. The human rights violations are a chilling example of state terrorism being given dangerous impunity as well, and no one is able to do anything to change that because international observers are denied access. To date, thousands of innocent Kashmiris are still languishing in prisons and torture chambers, while equal amounts have disappeared in mass graves. Detentions, draconian laws, and unlawful actions of the Modi government have made survival difficult in a atmosphere of constant fear for Kashmiris who are actually living in the world’s largest open prison but the Hindutva regime is focusing on muddling dissent and contain the story”.

“The gross human rights violations in Kashmir by the BJP government should not be lost upon us. This is an apartheid regime, but the international community, with a few honourable exceptions selectively chooses to ignore the suffering. Had it been another country, it would have been under sanctions by now. It is extremely important for us to be strategizing together on what we can do but also, highlighting and amplifying our voices,” she added.

She said, “We must not let the world forget about the atrocities taking place in Kashmir and speak about it on all local and international forums. Kashmir should always be a priority on our agendas. As Parliamentarians it is our responsibility to highlight the stories of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters. It is shocking that despite being one of the most persecuted communities in the world, there is complete silence when it comes to the rights of Kashmiris. This is not India’s internal matter and the international community must play its role”.

“For Pakistan Kashmir is a national issue and evokes widespread sentiment across the country . All political parties stand against India’s forcible annexation of Kashmir against the will of its people and the PPP especially will always stand by them,” concluded Senator Sherry Rehman.