Sharif condemns ‘brutal oppression of Indian forces in Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday chaired a high-level meeting of the National Security Council in Islamabad to discuss regional security, particularly the ongoing situation in Kashmir.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif also attended the meeting, which was briefed on the situation in Kashmir and Afghanistan by the Foreign Office, senior FO sources said.

The meeting unanimously expressed concern over the law and order situation in India-held Kashmir (IHK) following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian government forces, a PM House press release said.

The meeting also condemned “the subsequent continuing brutal oppression of the Indian security forces over innocent Kashmiris who have been peacefully protesting” against the Indian violence in the region.

PM Nawaz maintained that the “brutal use of force is a blatant violation of fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people which no civilised society permits”, adding that Indian attempts to claim the situation in IHIK as an internal matter are “factually incorrect, legally untenable and a violation of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions”, the statement said.

The statement said India will not be able to legitimise its occupation in IHK by suppressing the voices of Kashmiris. The PM reiterated that the only solution to the Kashmir issue would be “early implementation of UNSC resolutions ─ a fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices”.

“We have provided and will continue to provide diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the realisation of their fundamental right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions, the premier said.

The meeting resolved to approach the United Nations Human Rights Council on its own and also on behalf of the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir to request the body to send a fact-finding mission to IHK.

The fact-finding mission’s aim would be to “investigate the slaughter of innocent civilians and impose a ban on the use of pellet guns for dispersing people exercising their right to protest”.

The meeting unanimously called upon the international community to condemn human rights violations by Indian security forces and play their role in ensuring the realisation of UNSC resolutions.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Rashad Mahmood, National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz were in attendance, along with other senior officials.

Earlier in the day, PM Nawaz and the COAS met separately to discuss matters pertaining to internal and regional security, Radio Pakistan reported.(Dawn)