Islamabad: As Pakistan marks one year to the revocation of Indian-occupied Kashmir’s special status, President Arif Alvi on Wednesday lashed out against New Delhi for its ongoing oppression of Kashmiris, saying that “India has learned how to change the demography from Israel”.
While addressing the attendees of a rally, taken out in Islamabad in solidarity with residents of occupied Kashmir, the president said: “India’s high-ups made many promises to Kashmiris and Pakistan but none of those promises were fulfilled.” The president was flanked by Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi among other senators and officials.
“They signed the Simla Agreement with us in which it was decided that [both countries] will hold bilateral dialogue, but to date, India has refused to hold talks. Whenever the issue was raised on multilateral forums, India made excuses saying that it was a bilateral issue but they are not ready to talk.”
He said that Pakistan did not accept Article 370 — which provided special status to the occupied region — originally as well because “we want the independence of Kashmir since it is not part of India”. Narendra Modi’s government, he lamented, repealed the law and changed Article 35(a) last year.
“If, over the past year, Kashmiris had appreciated the move [of repealing the region’s special status], India would not have to impose a lockdown in [occupied Kashmir],” President Alvi declared.
He stressed that Pakistan government had always strove for peace. Even after India violated Pakistani airspace on the “false reaction on Pulwama” blast, Pakistan returned the captured Indian airforce pilot Abhinandan “to show to the world and India that we want peace not war”.
He demanded the United Nations Security Council, where resolutions have been passed regarding the Kashmir issue, to fulfill its promises.
He further said that the press should be given free access to Indian occupied Kashmir. “If the situation is peaceful then press should have complete freedom to report from the occupied region. He also demanded that the changes introduced by the Indian government against Geneva Convention and UN rules should be withdrawn.
He also appealed to the international community and world bodies, including the OIC, to take note of the barbaric actions of the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.
He assured that Pakistan will continue peaceful efforts for the Kashmir cause.
A minute’s silence was also observed by the participants of the rally.
FM Qureshi challenges Indian PM to visit Muzaffarabad
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was also part of the rally in Islamabad, challenged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Muzaffarabad and to let Prime Minister Imran Khan visit Srinagar.
Addressing the Indian premier, he said: “If you have confidence in your actions then as foreign minister of Pakistan, I invite you to come and address the Kashmiris of Muzaffarabad. If you have courage and confidence in your policies, then allow PM Imran to visit Srinagar and see how he is welcomed.”
“The public’s referendum will be held today. This is my challenge to you. If you have courage, accept this. If you don’t have courage then review [your decision to annex occupied Jammu and Kashmir],” he added.
Rallies are being held across the country to condemn Indian government’s decision to strip occupied Kashmir’s special status and its ongoing atrocities against the residents of the region.