Countries reacting to the situation in Indian-held Kashmir have “overwhelmingly validated Pakistan’s stance” on the matter, said Foreign Office Muhammad Faisal during his weekly media briefing on Thursday.
He briefed the press on some developments from the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the foreign minister of Senegal, ambassadors appointed to the OIC, the Human Rights Committee president and the UN’s human rights councilor.
On September 10, there was a major breakthrough for Pakistan and the foreign minister delivered a historic joint statement on behalf of 50 countries on the situation in Kashmir, said Dr Faisal. He underscored the extremely worrying human rights situation in Kashmir and the ramifications of India’s August 5 repeal of Article 370 of its constitution, he said. These demands were consistent with the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolutions he said.
The spokesperson listed the points mentioned in the statement that the 50 countries urge India to follow. These are ensuring the respect and protection of human rights in Indian held Kashmir, especially the rights to life, liberty and security, the lifting of the curfew and release of arbitrarily detained people, the use of no force against people in the valley and allowing human rights organisations and the international media access to the region.
Other points were the formation of a UN commission to inquire into the matter, regular Human Rights Commission reporting on the situation in Kashmir and the peaceful resolution of the dispute under the UN Security Council resolutions.
The EU’s human rights council has also issued a statement, said Dr Faisal, appreciating it for doing so. He also lauded China’s statement on the matter and that it took note of the OHCHR statement on the matter. Turkey has also taken notice and we appreciate it for doing so, he said.
Malaysia also expressed concern on the human rights situation and urged both parties to find a peaceful resolution to the matter, said Dr Faisal. He said these statements overwhelmingly validate Pakistan’s stance. He asked India to stop misleading the international community and respect Kashmir’s right to self determination.
Since the last meeting, the foreign minister has called several of his counterparts to brief them on the Kashmir situation. He has spoken to the foreign ministers of Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Korea, Iran, Iceland and Bangladesh.
Regarding the US’ decision to step back from peace talks with the Taliban following a bombing in Kabul, Dr Faisal said Pakistan urges both parties to return to the negotiation table. We want and have always wanted a peaceful resolution to the Afghan issue, he said.