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Pakistan calls India’s occupation of Kashmir ‘worst manifestation’ of colonialism

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct 03 (APP): Describing India’s occupation of Jammu and Kashmir as the “worst manifestation of modern-day colonialism,” Pakistan has called on the U.N. to push for a peaceful settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Security Council resolutions and Kashmiri people’s wishes.

Noting that since 1946, 80 former colonies have gained independence, Ambassador Munir Akram told the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee that there are still peoples who are denied the right to self-determination, “most prominently the people of occupied Jammu & Kashmir and Palestine.”

The right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, the Pakistani envoy said, was explicitly recognized in UNSC resolution 47 and several subsequent resolutions, which prescribed that the final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir should be decided by its people through a free and fair plebiscite held under UN auspices.

These resolutions were accepted by both India and Pakistan, he said, adding that under Article 25 of the UN Charter, both parties are obliged to implement these resolutions.

In his remarks, Ambassador Akram also said that durable peace in the Middle East can only be achieved through the two-state solution and the establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, with the pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

On Kashmir, the Pakistani envoy said that for 75 years, through force and fraud, India has avoided the implementation of UN resolutions, and since 1989, it’s “brutal” campaign of repression killed 100,000 Kashmiris.

Since 5 August 2019, he said, India has taken “unilateral and illegal steps” to annex occupied Kashmir in what its leaders have termed as a “Final Solution”.

“Resolution 122 (1957) of the Security Council provides that unilateral measures ‘to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire state or any part thereof, would not constitute a disposition of the state’”, Ambassador Akram said, adding that consequently all unilateral actions taken by India on and after 5 August 2019 are not only illegal, but, ipso facto, null and void.”

“Kashmir today is the most densely occupied place in the world, with more than 900,000 Indian occupation troops deployed there who have perpetrated a vicious campaign of extrajudicial killings in fake encounters and so-called ‘cordon and search’ operations; abduction and enforced disappearances of 13,000 young Kashmiri boys; collective punishments, destroying and burning entire villages and urban neighbourhoods,” he said.

“In a classic settler-colonial project, India is seeking to convert occupied Kashmir from a Muslim-majority state to a Hindu-majority territory,” the Pakistani envoy said, pointing out that over 3.4 million fake domicile certificates have been issued to Hindus from across India.

“The land and properties of Kashmiris are also being confiscated for military and official use,” he told the committee.

India’s brutal campaign, he said, is turbo-charged by the ideology of ‘Hindutva’, which asserts the religious and ethnic supremacy of Hindus and hate against Muslims. “This has led the organization – Genocide Watch – to warn of the possibility of genocide in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and, indeed, against Muslims within India itself.

Underscoring that the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is essential to achieve durable peace in South Asia, Ambassador Akram said the onus is on India to create conditions for a dialogue towards its settlement.

To that end, he said, India must stop its human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir; halt and reverse the process of demographic change there; and rescind the illegal and unilateral measures imposed on and after 5 August 2019.

“The United Nations and all its Member States are bound by the Charter to promote a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” the Pakistani envoy said in conclusion.

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