The India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a Seminar to commemorate “Kashmir Solidarity Day”. The Chief Guest for the Seminar was Nawabzada Iftakhar Ahmed Khan Babar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan. The Keynote Address was delivered by Amb. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, Additional Secretary and Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In his introductory remarks, Dr. Arshad Ali, Director India Study Centre, highlighted the importance of ‘Solidarity Day’ and stressed the importance of continuous support for people of IIOJK, who were facing the brunt of Indian state repression driven by the ideology of ‘Hindutva’.
In his remarks on the occasion, Director General ISSI Amb. Sohail Mahmood underscored the importance of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, the long saga of Indian repression in IIOJK, the sinister Indian design to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory in violation of Security Council resolutions and the 4th Geneva Convention, firm resolve of the Kashmiris to pursue their legitimate aspirations at all cost, and Pakistan’s abiding support and solidarity for this just cause. He stressed that Pakistan must continue to advocate the rights of the Kashmiris on all planes and platforms — including political, diplomatic, legal, cultural, human rights, and peace & security. He further added that the Pakistani nation must walk with their Kashmiri brethren on every step of this struggle until they get justice and secure peace.
In her Keynote Address, Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch highlighted how India had adopted a four-pronged approach of disenfranchisement, suppression, disinformation, and maligning the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris. Stressing that India must reverse its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, she reiterated that Pakistan will continue to steadfastly and unequivocally support the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination until its full realization.
In a recorded message, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the World Forum for Peace and Justice, thanked the people of Pakistan for their continuous support, prayers, compassion and understanding for the issues faced by the people of IIOJK. He called upon the international community and the UN Secretary General to fulfil their obligations towards the maintenance of peace as well as realization of the Kashmiris’ rights as enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions.
Ms. Maliha Hamid Mughal, a student of NDU, highlighted the impact of the illegal occupation on the youth of IIOJK and said that continuous violence had exerted a direct impact on the education, socio-economic condition, mental health, and future prospects of the youth of occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr. Mahmood Sagar, the Convener of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK, thanked the people of Pakistan for commemorating “February 5” as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ for the last 30 years. He said that self-determination was an inalienable right of the Kashmiris and that their voice deserved to be heard in the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He added that the Kashmiris were determined to continue their just struggle despite all kinds of violence and atrocities by India and remained grateful to the people of Pakistan for their unrelenting support through national consensus.
In his address, Chief Guest Nawabzada Iftakhar Ahmed Khan Babar urged Pakistanis to actively continue to advocate the rights of the Kashmiris. He recalled that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had described Kashmir as the “Jugular Vein” of Pakistan; and the Kashmiris had proved that they were the jugular vein of Pakistan. He highlighted the political unity within Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. He noted that India was attempting to make demographic changes through so-called delimitation process and introduction of domicile laws in IIOJK, which the Kashmiris and people of Pakistan had rejected. He reiterated that the Government would continue to raise these issues at every forum, as the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister had done. The SAPM concluded by reiterating Pakistan’s unflinching support for the Kashmir cause across party lines and all segments of society.
In his closing remark, the Chairman BOG of ISSI, Amb. Khalid Mahmood argued that the principle of self-determination is enshrined in the UN charter and that Pakistan has historically adopted an extremely principled stance on the issue.
The Seminar was attended by senior officials, academics, students, members of civil society, and diplomatic representatives.
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