Today, on this Kashmir Solidarity Day, we reaffirm our resolute support for our Kashmiri brothers and sisters, who continue to be subjected to an inhuman military siege and communications blockade since 5 August 2019.  The tragedy of the Kashmiris, however, goes back more than 7 decades as they have faced unabated repression and consistent denial of their fundamental rights by India.

            While observing this Day, we salute the unflinching resolve of Kashmiris in their valiant struggle for the right to self-determination, which was pledged to them by India, Pakistan, and the international community. Eversince India reneged on this commitment, it has sought to brutally suppress the Kashmiris’ quest for freedom.

            The latest Indian attempts to further colonize IIOJK by altering its demography and obliterating the distinct Kashmiri identity are reflective of a sinister design to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. These changes are being carried out through promulgation of illegal domicile rules, changes in property laws, and downgrading the status of Urdu language. Incentives are being offered to outsiders to settle on the occupied land of the Kashmiris in violation of international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention.

            Over 8 million Kashmiris have been turned into prisoners in their own homes, with more than 900,000 occupation troops holding them hostage. History has few examples of such violation of fundamental rights. Thousands of Kashmiris have been arbitrarily detained. The Kashmiri youth is being particularly targeted through abductions, incarceration at undisclosed locations, indiscriminate use of pellet guns, and extra-judicial killings in fake ‘encounters.’ This is a manifestation of Indian state-terrorism against innocent Kashmiris.

            There should be immediate lifting of the military siege and communications blockade as well as rescinding of India’s illegal and unilateral actions in IIOJK. All those arbitrarily arrested and illegally incarcerated should be released and  draconian laws providing impunity to Indian occupation forces immediately repealed. The international human rights and humanitarian organizations, as well as the international media, should be allowed access to investigate the grave human rights situation in the occupied territory.

            Pakistan reiterates its call on the world community to hold India accountable for its crimes against humanity in IIOJK. India must stop its brutal suppression of Kashmiris, adhere to its international human rights obligations, and honour the commitment to grant to Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.

            For its part, Pakistan will remain unshakable in its solidarity with the Kashmiri people until they realize their legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. This is indispensible for durable peace and security in South Asia.