Sartaj to Swaraj: ‘Only Kashmiris can give verdict on future of Kashmir’


ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Sunday said the verdict on the future of Kashmir could only be given by the people of Kashmir not, Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister of India.

Indian External Affairs Minister had said that the whole of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India and Kashmir will never become part of Pakistan.

Responding to the statement of the Indian External Affairs Minister, he said, “Such a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir and not by the External Affairs Minister of India.”

This right has been promised to the people of Kashmir by the United Nation (UN) Security Council, Sartaj Aziz said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

He said it was high time that India allowed the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise this right through a free and fair UN-supervised plebiscite.

Once the majority of the people of Kashmir have voted for joining either Pakistan or India, the whole world would accept this verdict, he added.

Sushma Swaraj had also objected to the statement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he had called Kashmiri leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani a martyr.

She had said that for India Burhan was a wanted terrorist.

In this regard, Adviser Sartaj Aziz said,” Here again India cannot ignore the fact that over 200,000 Kashmiris participated in the funeral prayers of Burhan Muzaffar Wani in 50 different locations throughout Indian occupied Kashmir despite strict curfew clamped in the valley which still continues 15 days after Wani’s extra-judicial murder on 8 July 2016. Let us not forget as one Indian writer has reminded us that not long ago the British labelled Indian freedom fighters as traitors and terrorists because at that time India was considered an integral part of the British Empire.”

He said the government and the people of Pakistan remained firmly committed in their moral diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris indigenous movement for self-determination and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.

Pakistan, he said, urged the UN, international community and the human rights organisations to play their role in stopping the Indian atrocities in the Indian occupied Kashmir against innocent and defenceless Kashmiris.

Even in India conscientious voices have raised concern over the brutalities and reign of terror unleashed by the Indian forces in IOK, he added.

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