By News Desk

Voicing serious concern over the prevailing situation in Kashmir, speakers at a conference hosted by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) here observed that world apathy and India’s denial to implement UN resolutions on Kashmir were main causes of unrest in the region.

The conference titled “Kashmir crisis: call for justice” was presided over by federal minister for religious affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf Khan and attended by former diplomats, intellectuals, academicians, senior journalists, representatives of civil society, students and Kashmiri leaders hailing from both sides of the line of control including Prof. Muhammad Ayoub, Rana Abdul Baqi, Ambassador Saleem Nawaz Gandapori, Muhammad Khan of National Defense University, Ershad Mehmood, Muzamil Ayub Thakur, Altaf Hussain Wani, Mir Tahir Masood, Rafique Dar and several others.

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The speakers on the occasion said that since the dispute was taken to the UN, Kashmiris waited years and years but no steps were taken to implement these resolutions. “Later on, after signing Shimla Agreement in July 1972, Indian and Pakistani leaders vowed to restore diplomatic and trade relations, set-free Prisoners of War (POW) and resolve the dispute of Kashmir,” they said, adding that all issues were simultaneously taken up and resolved by the two nations keeping Kashmir issue un-addressed.

“In Lahore declaration, the leadership of India and Pakistan expressed similar sort of resolve to address the issue of Kashmir but they miserably failed in their attempts to resolve the dispute,” they said.

Terming recent uprising in Kashmir as a consequence of broken promises and missed opportunities they said that rather than looking Kashmir problem through Indian prism it was incumbent upon human rights defenders, writers, intellectuals and justice-loving people world over to deliver justice to Kashmiris who have been “reeling under oppression and suppression.”

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They denounced the use of live ammunition and pellets against protesters by the troops.

Seeking ban on use lethal weapons they said that pellet guns and pepper gas used against protesters has wreaked havoc in the region.

“Hundreds of protesters with pellet injuries in their eyes are feared to have lost their eyesight, either partially or completely,” they said.

Sardar Muhammad Yousuf Khan voiced concern over the recent spate of killings in Kashmir and said that Government of Pakistan would make all out efforts to highlight the plight of Kashmiris at international level.

He said that his party has sought a joint sitting of parliament wherein threadbare discussions would be held on the simmering situation in the region besides seeking international community’s attention towards the issue.

Reiterating his country’s full support to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, Khan said: “In Pakistan, there was complete consensus on the issue of Kashmir. Civilian and military leadership are on the same page.”

The participants of the conference sought an immediate end to rights violations in Kashmir urging the UN to send a fact finding mission to investigate killings in Kashmir.

Terming Kashmiris’ struggle as a legitimate political movement, they said that the indigenous face of the movement being acknowledged at international level now should not be dented. “This (Indigenous face) is the real strength of the movement and it has to be sustained and upheld by all means,” they concluded.

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