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Shahbaz pleads for Kashmiris’ rights

LAHORE: PML-N President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif while paying tribute to the valour and sacrifices of the people of Indian-held Kashmir has said the reputation and authenticity of international institutions won’t be established until the people of Kashmir get their right to self-determination and freedom from the Indian tyranny. In a statement issued here on Wednesday, he said Kashmiris have been braving inhumane Indian oppression through their faith and conviction. This illegal occupation of Kashmir is an open challenge and violation of all human rights conventions and UN resolutions, he said. Unarmed innocent Kashmiris are laying down their lives every hour, waiting for the day when the promised right to self-determination would be given to them.

Shahbaz said the new chapter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brutalities was unleashed on August 5, 2019. Since that day, the people of Kashmir are reeling under the crushing curfew, lockdown and a total communication blackout under the racist BJP government in open violation of all human rights.

He said the assets and lands of Kashmiris have been snatched away, and now their lives are being taken away while their loved ones watch helplessly and the civilized world continues to be a silent spectator. On the one hand, the occupying forces are martyring Kashmiris while, on the other, coronavirus has gripped them.

The PML-N president said Pakistan and Kashmir are tied together with a blood bond and Quaid-i-Azam left no doubt by naming it the jugular vein of Pakistan. He expressed alarm over the reports that coronavirus is spreading most viciously through Indian-held Kashmir. Over 66 thousand people are being suspected of being infected with the fatal disease, he said. With over 500 already confirmed with the virus, the Indian government is using Covid-19 as a tool to exterminate all Kashmiris.

He extended condolences to the families of those who have become a victim of India’s state terrorism. He paid tribute to the brave freedom leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik, Mir Waiz Umar Farooq and Asia Andrabi. He said these leaders have written an unforgettable history of bravery and resistance with their perseverance and courage.

He called on the UN, UNHRC and the international community at large to protect the basic human rights of Kashmiris against the new coronavirus and Indian ethnic cleansing. He demanded that all civilians including politicians, women, children and minors be released form jails.

Appreciating the statements given by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, he urged OIC General Secretary Yusuf Bin Ahmed to take immediate steps to protect the lives of Kashmiris from coronavirus and Indian massacre. The people of Kashmir have great expectations from the Muslim world, he said.

He thanked the lawmakers of Britain, US and Europe for raising voice for the rights of IHK people. He persuaded them to ensure implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir, send an independent investigation commission to Indian-held Kashmir and force India to end its lockdown and communications blackout of the valley. He said every living soul of Pakistan is standing with the people of Kashmir and will continue raising voice and fighting for the rights of Kashmiris at all forums.