Kashmir, Palestine & Islamophobia


Muhammad Zahid Rifat

LINGERING unresolved issues of Kashmir and Palestine, non-implementation and no enforcement of Resolutions adopted decades back by the UN Security Council and mounting threat to the humanity in general and particularly to Muslims in the form of Islamophobia have been the main problems confronting the Muslim Ummah These were duly, quite rightly and emphatically highlighted by Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, while addressing the UN General Assembly session for the second time in two years. His maiden address last year was delivered in person in New York but the second one a few days back was virtual owing to pandemic of Corona Virus. While in New York, the Prime Minister besides addressing UN General Assembly had availed the opportunity of meeting a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations but this time the virtual address had deprived him of such an opportunity. The international community was told in very plain words that there will be no durable peace and stability in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is resolved, the Security Council was urged to prevent a disastrous conflict and secure the implementation of its own resolution as it had done in the case of East Timor, the Security Council has as a matter of record considered the situation in Jammu and Kashmir thrice in the past year ( after the long lapse of about 55 years), it must take appropriate enforcement actions and most importantly it must also take adequate positive steps to protect the Kashmiris from impending genocide by fascist regime of India, for more than 72 years India has illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the wishes of the Kashmiri people in blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.
PM Imran Khan, who calls himself as the Ambassador of Kashmiris and has been agitating and raising the Kashmir issue and oppressive and suppressive activities being meted out on the Kashmiri people on every form within the country and internationally, paying tributes to the Kashmiris said in his address that the brave Kashmiri people will never submit to Indian occupation and oppression, their struggle is indigenous, they are fighting for a just cause and laying down their lives generation after generation for getting rid of Indian occupation. Reiterating Pakistan’s principled stance, he emphatically said that the government and the people of Pakistan are committed to standing by supporting their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for securing their fundamental right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. He told the international community through his virtual address that Pakistan has always called for a peaceful solution of the lingering unresolved Kashmir issue, to this end India must rescind the measures it has taken since 05 August 2019, end its military siege and other gross human rights violations and agree to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and, of course, the wishes of the people of Kashmir.
As regards Palestine, he said that Palestine remains a festering wound, a just and lasting settlement is indispensable for the Middle East and, in fact, also the world at large, illegal annexation of Palestinian territory, the building of illegal settlements and the imposition of inhuman living conditions on the Palestinians especially in Gaza cannot bring peace to a troubled region adding that Pakistan continues to support a two-state solution in line with the UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions within the internationally agreed parameters and these are pre-1967 borders, Al-Quds Sharif as the capital of a united, contiguous and independent State of Palestine. Needless to mention here that the UN Security Council and the General Assembly are unable to implement their decades old resolutions to resolve lingering and burning Kashmir and Palestine dispute because Kashmir issue pertains to a big country India, which is flagrantly violating UN Security Council resolutions also in a big manner for decades together, and many countries around the globe have their trade and economic interests at stake and Palestine dispute pertains to Israel which is illegitimate babe of the United States which in recent months is exerting its all pressures on Muslim countries to sign agreements of friendship with the Zionist State. The resolution in support of East Timor was implemented within a matter of few months as it involved a Muslim country, Indonesia.
As regards growing threat of Islamophopbia, PM Imran Khan quite rightly, appreciably and pointedly stated that pandemic of Corona Virus was an opportunity to bring humanity together, but unfortunately instead it has fanned nationalism, increased global tension and given rise to racial and religious hatred and violence against vulnerable minorities in several places, these trends have also accentuated “Islamophobia”, Muslims continue to be targeted with impunity in many countries, one country in the world today where the state sponsors Islamophobia is India, the reason behind this is that RSS ideology unfortunately rules India today. Having said this, the Prime Minister of Pakistan urged the UN General Assembly to declare an “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” and build a coalition to fight this scourge that splits humanity rather than bring it together. Prime Minister Imran Khan must be felicitated for highlighting all those issues and concerns which are a source of concern of problems and worries for the Muslims in particular and the international community in general in his address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. Pakistani missions in foreign countries around the globe must pick up the thread where PM Imran Khan has left and continue impressing upon the international community through all possible means and resources for solutions of Kashmir and Palestine disputes in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine and urging them to take adequate stringent measures to discourage and curb mounting threat of Islamophobia effectively and permanently.
—The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and retired Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan, Islamabad.