Bilawal’s right decision


AT a time when India is trying to portray normalcy in its illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir by holding a G-20 meeting in Srinagar, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has decided to pay a three-day visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir from Sunday in a bid to register Pakistan’s protest over what we could call the Indian smokescreen move. Indeed Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and the way India is committing egregious human rights violations in the occupied territory, responsibility rests with Pakistan to fully expose them. Hence, the very decision by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to visit Azad Kashmir is a timely one to show the genuine normalcy that prevails in the area under Pakistan’s control and highlight the atrocities that are taking place in the India-occupied territory. This will also send a positive message across the LOC that Pakistan, regardless of its own problems, is firmly standing by them.

During his visit to Goa to attend the SCO meeting, the Foreign Minister had very forcefully and in a compelling manner had presented Pakistan’s stance including on Jammu and Kashmir both inside the multilateral forum as well as his media interaction- something which also bothered the Indian authorities. The message from the Pakistani side was clear that it will not make any compromise on Jammu & Kashmir and that its final resolution will be in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

As regards holding the G-20 meeting in Srinagar is concerned, we believe this is yet another irresponsible and self-serving move on the part of India to perpetuate the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir in sheer disregard of the UN Security Council resolutions and in violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law. Holding this event in Srinagar has a malicious agenda to pretend normalcy in the disputed territory but the ground situation is quite the contrary as occupying forces are involved in grave human rights abuses. Since illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, Indian occupation forces have killed hundreds of innocent Kashmiris in extra-judicial murders. Some estimates place the number of Indian occupying troops deployed as high as 900,000. With a ratio of one soldier to every ten civilians, the army treats the civilian population as an enemy. The very recent report by a UN expert on Kashmir has totally exposed the evil face of India. Whilst drawing attention towards the plight of Kashmiri people, the report concluded that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir should be decried and condemned, not pushed under the rug and ignored with the holding of the G-20 meeting. It is now for the G-20 members to boycott this meeting and not become part of the Indian ploy.