Joint sitting of parliament backs Kashmiris in IIOJ&K

Muhammad Anis
Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The joint sitting of parliament on Wednesday expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination and reiterated Pakistan’s unstinting moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause.

The joint session adopted a unanimous resolution moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi, expressing solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiri people in their just struggle for realisation of their right to self-determination. President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Barrister Sultan Mahmood and Prime Minister Tanvir Ilyas Khan, who were especially invited to watch the proceedings, were present in the VVIP Gallery.

The joint session recalled that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remained one of the oldest unresolved international disputes on the United Nations agenda, mindful of United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute adopted since 1948. The House paid rich tribute to the valour and sacrifices of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It appreciated the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir for their steadfast political support to their Kashmiri brothers and sisters living across the Line of Control. Rejecting India’s unilateral and illegal actions since August 5, 2019, it expressed concern over attempts to introduce demographic changes in IIOJ&K, inter alia, through issuance of domicile certificates to outsiders, allowing purchase of land by non-Kashmiris, addition of temporary residents to voter lists and fresh delimitation of electoral constituencies.

The resolution emphasised that any political process held under foreign occupation could not be a substitute to the exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir as provided in the relevant UNSC resolutions.

The parliament also expressed concern over the presence of over 900,000 Indian forces that have turned IIOJ&K into one of the most militarised regions of the world. It condemned the ongoing human rights violations in IIOJ&K, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, so-called cordon-and-search operations, destruction and confiscation of properties, and torture.

The House expressed apprehensions over the continued illegal detention and incarceration of Kashmiri political leaders and activists. It deplored the impunity with which the Indian forces continue their egregious human rights violations in IIOJ&K under draconian laws that defy the norms of justice. It reprimanded the belligerent statements of Indian political leaders and military officers on Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, threatening regional peace and stability. The joint session reaffirmed the unshakeable resolve of the Pakistani nation to thwart any Indian aggression. It urged India to allow an independent investigation into the human rights violations in IIOJ&K as recommended by the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of June 2018 and July 2019. The resolution demanded that India must rescind its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 and subsequent measures and earnestly implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions to enable Kashmiri people to determine their future through an impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. NA Opposition Leader Raja Riaz Ahmad, senators Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Mushtaq Ahmad and Irfan Siddiqui, also spoke. They condemned silence of the previous regime on India’s August 5, 2019 action. Mushtaq said there was the need to adopt a more effective and dynamic policy for solving the Kashmir issue and referred to imprisonment of Kashmiri leaders, including Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik and others in Indian jails. Irfan Siddiqui suggested formation of a joint body of the two Houses to effectively highlight the plight of Kashmirirs.