NEW YORK: Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram, has highlighted India’s “barbaric” military siege of Jammu and Kashmir, now in its third year, saying Islamabad will continue to call for the liberation of Kashmir at the UN and in all forums.
“We stand firmly with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their struggle for right to self-determination and freedom,” he said in a video message to the Pakistani community released Sunday to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day.
At the same time, the Pakistani envoy said, “The foresight of Quaid-e-Azam in advancing the rationale for the creation of Pakistan is being emphatically validated today in the repression of the Muslims who live in India.
“They face organized state repression, shrinking social space and usurpation of their fundamental rights as the BJP-RSS government seeks to eliminate the Islamic legacy in India and re-write history to elaborate the great contributions of its Muslim rulers and dynasties.”
“Our founding fathers”, he said, “faced vigorous opposition and secured Pakistan through determination, resolve, wisdom and democratic struggle. Hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters sacrificed their lives just to reach their promised homeland; to fulfill their dream of nationhood and liberty.
“We must never forget their heroism; their ideals; and their sacrifice,” Ambassador Akram said, adding to honour them, “We must preserve and build Pakistan into a strong, modern, democratic Islamic State where all can prosper and no one is left behind.
“We must reaffirm the pledge to pursue and realize the vision of the Quaid.”
As regards the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said that they are part of Pakistan’s body and soul who have been denied the right to self-determination and freedom by Indian occupation and oppression.
“They have been under a brutal military siege for the past three years. 900,000 Indian troops have unleashed a reign of terror in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, resorting to extra-judicial killings; abduction and torture of young Kashmiri boys; and destruction of entire villages and neighborhoods and the illegal incarceration of Kashmiri leaders.”
Despite the many challenges, Ambassador Akram said Pakistan has proven itself to be a resilient nation. “We are a strong country – militarily, we have enormous potential for growth and prosperity. We are an influential and important country on the world stage.”
“Today,” he said, “we face enormous challenges; the challenges of security and conflict, the coronavirus crisis and the economic downturn. But these are also global challenges. God forbid, we will overcome them too.
“Our Quaid takes the principles of unity, faith and discipline as the cornerstones of nation building. These are the three pillars that are vital to Pakistan’s progress and prosperity. We should continue to work towards the Quaid-e-Azam vision, let us A society that is humane, inclusive and tolerant of all people.”