Every February 5, Pakistan commemorates Kashmir Solidarity Day. This is a form of Pakistan’s real support for the Kashmir and Jammu regions, which are illegally occupied by India. A number of UN Security Council (DK) resolutions have never even been heeded by India, even though thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of human rights violations have occurred at the regions. Pakistan describes, India is following the Israeli strategy in occupying Palestine.
To remind the Indonesian people about India’s too many violations of international rules in the Jammu and Kashmir regions, the journalist of Rakyat Merdeka / RM.id, Muhammad Rusmadi interviewed exclusively the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Muhammad Hassan at his office, on Friday, February 5, 2021.
February 5, is celebrated as Kashmir Solidarity Day. To remind to the Indonesian people, could you explain briefly, is what Kashmir Solidarity Day?
Every year on 5th February, the Government and the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day. This is an occasion to reiterate our indefatigable support to the people of Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIoJ&K) in their legitimate struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in UN Charter, and the relevant United Nations resolutions. This is to show to the Kashmiris and the world at large that Pakistan and its people have not forgotten the long-pending issue.
The valiant and peaceful people of Jammu and Kashmir are continuing to suffer. Not only is the right to self-determination being denied to them, but they are also being subjected to violence and suppression. Thousands of Kashmiris have lost their lives and thousands are languishing in Indian jails. The grisly human rights violations by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir have been documented by well-known international human rights organizations.
Last seven decades have witnessed Indian occupation forces mercilessly killing and terrorizing the innocent people of Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIoJ&K) in complete disregard of fundamental principles of human rights, liberty and justice. The valiant and resilient people of IIoJ&K have stood up to fight back state-sponsored atrocities. The people of Pakistan and the freedom-loving people of the entire world salute them for their courage.
When this Kashmir Solidarity Day has been started to be celebrated?
Officially, the Kashmir Solidarity Day has been observed all over the world since 1990. The day, however, has a historical significance. In the 1930s, the day was observed to express solidarity with the Kashmiris’ struggle against the autocratic Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. Basically, it started from undivided Punjab and it has been celebrated ever since, with pauses in between.
Now the day is observed to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people in the face of Indian aggressions. This day will continue to hold importance until the Kashmiris achieve their objective of right to self-determination.
Are there any special activities usually carried out in Pakistan / Pakistani Embassies around the world, related to Kashmir Solidarity Day?
Pakistanis and Kashmiris living abroad also hold rallies to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. The Day is also observed by people throughout Pakistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). Public processions and special prayers in mosques for the Kashmiris and protests are carried out against the Indian oppression of Kashmir.
Another common spectacle in Pakistan is the formation of a human chain on all major routes leading to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. People stand in rows with their hands clasped forming a human chain on all major crossings into AJK from Pakistan. This symbolizes unity and solidarity to reassure the Kashmiris that they are not alone in their struggle for freedom.
The embassies of Pakistan across the world organize special events and meetings to draw attention of the world community towards Indian illegal occupation of Kashmir and grave human rights violations and brutalities against innocent Kashmiris by the Indian security forces.
Then what are the latest developments at the United Nations in an effort to find the solution on this Kashmir issue?
To put the things into its perspective, let me briefly discuss the history of UN involvement in the Kashmir issue. After forcibly occupying parts of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, India produced a fake instrument of accession of the region to India by the then Hindu ruler.
People of Kashmir protested against this treachery of their ruler and liberated part of the territory, which is now called Azad Kashmir. India tried to validate the fake instrument of annexation by referring it to the UN and reported the matter to the UN Security Council on 1 January 1948.
UNSC admitted the case on its agenda and set-up the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), through its Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948. The resolution imposed an immediate cease-fire, withdrawal of troops by both India and Pakistan and hold a plebiscite and the people of Jammu and Kashmir themselves decide, whether they want to join India or Pakistan. To ensure security along the line of control, Both Pakistan and India accepted the solution proposed by the UNSC.
India, however, latter retracted from its promise and started a reign of repression against the Kashmiri people. In 1951, Security Council passed Resolution 91 (1951) and established a United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to observe and report violations of ceasefire.
India’s barbarity on the people of Jammu and Kashmir has been going on since 1947. On 5 August 2019, India unilaterally and illegally revoked Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and announced the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Pakistan approached the UN Security Council against India’s “illegal” action that violated relevant UN resolutions. Consequently, the UNSC has till date held four closed door meetings on Jammu and Kashmir. The Council’s taking up the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is a clear reaffirmation of the disputed status of Jammu & Kashmir and the seriousness of the ground situation.
Pakistan has welcomed the meeting held at United Nations Security Council to discuss the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, as it is a mark of solidarity of international community with the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Last Wednesday was reported there was a clash between Pakistani-Indian troops, is that also related to the Kashmir issue?
Yes, that’s correct. The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have been continuously targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars, and automatic weapons. In January 2021, they carried out 175 ceasefire violations, resulting in serious injuries to 08 innocent civilians.
These violations of international law reflect consistent Indian attempts to escalate the situation along the LoC and are a threat to regional peace and security. By raising tensions along the LoC and the WB, India cannot divert attention from the grave human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK).
So far, how do you see Indonesia’s role in the Kashmir conflict? Enough? Or is it still not much?
The Kashmiri claim of the right to self-determination is based on the internationally recognized political, legal, and human rights charters. It is incumbent of the international community to intervene to protect the human rights of Kashmiris and ensure a political resolution to the Kashmir dispute in accordance with people’s longstanding historical and political right to determine their political futures through a free, fair, and impartial plebiscite.
Indonesia, being an important member of the International community, an influential country in Asia and having the largest Islamic population in the world has can play an important role in finding a solution to this issue.
In fact, there is no need to find or craft a solution to this problem, as the root cause of the problem is non-implementation of the UN resolutions to which the international community and India itself are parties. These are the resolutions that promised the right of self determination to the people of Kashmir.
Pakistan, therefore, call on the international community, particularly its influential members such as Indonesia to stand behind the august body’s resolution and call upon India to fulfil its promise, which it made in that august body by allowing the Kashmiris the right of self-determination.
India’s unilateral and illegal action of 05 August 2019, abolishing the special status of J&K and bifurcating the region into two Union Territories, sets the scene for India’s inauguration of an Israeli-style settler colonialism. Taking a leaf from the Israeli book of illegal annexation of Palestine, India has embarked on changing the demography of the state, potentially destroying the political identity of Kashmiris through a process of ethnic cleansing.
This illegal action of India has received almost universal condemnation. India has felt increasingly isolated diplomatically and politically and is facing mounting pressure from the international community for perpetrating human rights atrocities in IIOJK.
We would like to see brotherly Indonesia, which is the biggest country in ASEAN region, to play a proactive role and call upon India to reverse its illegal actions and stop its repression against the innocent Kashmiri people.
Any special Pakistan-Indonesia talks in an effort to find a solution to the Kashmir problem? Only between two Pakistan-Indonesia countries, or maybe India also involved?
Pakistan would welcome Indonesia playing proactive role in resolving this conflict. As Indonesia has good relations with both Pakistan and India, it can play a mediatory role between the two countries. Pakistan would wholeheartedly welcome any such effort by our Indonesian brothers. As I mentioned before, there is no need to craft a new solution to the problem, It is already there — the implementation of the UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and end of repression in the IIOJ&K.
Pakistan, on its part, is committed to the resolution of all outstanding disputes with India including Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue. We have invited India time and again to engage in a comprehensive sustained and result-oriented dialogue process.
We also urge the international community to play its due role in securing for Kashmiris their right to self-determination. While Pakistan fully welcomes the role third parties, the UN, OIC and other countries, in the resolution of the conflict, India continues to demonstrate intransigence, despite the recent UNSC discussions on the issue which is a clear refutation of India’s argument that Kashmir is its internal matter. (*)
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