Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wants the UN to take notice of the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir.
“The fascist attitude of the Modi administration was demonstrated at the Srinagar airport today,” he said. Qureshi was referring to the arrest of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders shortly after they landed.
The 11-member opposition team had departed from Delhi to Srinagar to determine the situation in Kashmir themselves and request to meet the Kashmiri leadership. They were, however, arrested at the airport and sent back to Delhi.
This is the face of democracy [in India] right now, said Qureshi.
The foreign minister highlighted the treatment given by India to its own politicians, posing a question on what expectation Pakistan can have of holding a dialogue with a country that mistreats its own people.
He gave a salute to all those who have been capturing and sending footage and pictures through their loved ones from Kashmir despite a lock down on all channels of communication. The media is now picking up on it both locally and internationally, said Qureshi. “I salute their courage and bravery,” he said.
He said protests were recorded in several areas on Friday after namaz in which tear gas and pellet guns were used. People were bruised, he said.
Qureshi was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday after a telephonic conversation with UN chief Antonio Guterres, who is in Paris, to discuss the Kashmir issue. He said he has asked the UN to take notice of the serious humanitarian crisis in Indian-held Kashmir for the fourth time and updated him on the situation since the UNSC meeting on August 16.
He thanked Guterres for the briefing given during the recent Security Council session to its members on the crisis, human rights violations and threat to peace in Kashmir.
“The message we received from the closed door meeting of the Security Council was that the conflict should be resolved through peaceful means,” Qureshi said on the phone call.
Pakistan’s request was accepted by the UN Security Council to call a consultation on the Kashmir crisis August 16.
It was the first time in 50 years that the matter was taken up by the UNSC. The request was submitted by Qureshi.
The UNSC discussed India’s move to strip Kashmir of its autonomy during a closed-door meeting, diplomats had told AFP.
Kashmir entered its 20th day of a curfew with medicines and food running short. There has been a media blackout and newspapers have not been printed. The Muslims in Kashmir were also not able to celebrate Eid this year.