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Pakistan not bound to implement decision of US regarding Syed Salahuddin: Sartaj Aziz

04 July, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday said Pakistan was not bound to implement decision of the United States (US) regarding designating Syed Salahuddin, senior leader of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a global terrorist. In a briefing given to 20-member delegation of ‘Kashmir Journalist Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the grave human rights situation in Indian-held Kashmir and steps taken by Pakistan to sensitize the international community on the issue, the advisor said India had failed to brand Kashmir freedom movement as terrorist activity due to invaluable sacrifices of the Kashmiri people. He said that the struggle of Kashmiri people had entered a critical phase since the new wave started on July 8, 2016, adding that Pakistan would not hold talks with India unless Kashmir dispute was included in the agenda.

Aziz said that Salahuddin was designated a global terrorist by the United States (US) and the decision was not that of the United Nations Organization (UNO). He said that Pakistan would continue humanitarian and diplomatic support of Kashmiris. The adviser presented a brief synopsis of the human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces against unprotected Kashmiris in the valley and precarious security situation due to Indian unprovoked ceasefire violations since July 8, 2016.

"Over 150 have been martyred, mostly youth, including many in extra-judicial killings and fake encounters; around 8,000 were affected by pellet guns that had blinded more than 250 youth either fully or partially with another 930 at the verge of losing their eye-sight; 697 women reported molestation by Indian forces, around 18,000 injured and over 17,000 arrested arbitrarily with their fate and welfare unknown," according to the summary.

The adviser noted that despite Indian brutalities, on one hand the enthusiasm for getting freedom from India's unlawful occupation and sacrifices of Kashmiris, especially the youth, had been rising, on the other hand the phenomenon had also defeated the Indian propaganda of down-playing the Kashmir issue, as if there was nothing wrong. "If there was nothing wrong then why there were over 700,000 fully armed Indian occupation forces stationed? Why the entire media had been blocked? These are the questions that India should explain," the advisor said. "Current phase of the Kashmir movement has also buried Indian propaganda of cross-border terrorism. The whole world is witnessing that it is a movement by unarmed indigenous Kashmiri youth," he said, and mentioned Indian refusal to receive 'Fact Finding Missions to the IHK' by the UNHCR and the OIC. He commended OIC's strong statements condemning Indian atrocities in the valley.

Aziz stressed that the undeterred movement for self-determination and its indigenous character has been receiving increased coverage of the international as well as Indian media. "Voices expressing concerns and condemning Indian atrocities have echoed in various countries' parliaments including Australia, EU, North America, Nordic and the UK. Media and some members of civil society have made some useful and pertinent remarks. Western media has deplored that there is no recorded instance of a modern democracy systematically and willfully shooting at people to blind them. An Indian article reminded the Indian government that the land of Kashmiris is with us, the people of Kashmir's are not," the adviser cited.

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