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Imran Khan chaired high level meeting on Kashmir situation

17 January, 2020

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ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting held on Thursday warned that belligerent rhetoric emanating from Delhi could jeopardise peace in the region and reaffirmed support for the Kashmiris in their struggle for right to self-determination.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting on the situation in occupied Kashmir, which was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant to the PM on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf, Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood and other senior military and civilian officials.

The meeting was held a day after the United Nations Security Council for the second time in five months held informal closed-door discussions on India-held Kashmir. Much like the previous session, the meeting did not yield any outcome, but Islamabad hailed it as a major success.

Prime Minister Khan in a tweet observed that the discussion by the Security Council meant that the Kashmir dispute remained on the agenda of the global body, which recognised the “seriousness of the prevailing situation”.

The meeting expressed similar views on the discussion at UNSC. “The participants welcomed the consideration of Jammu & Kashmir in the Security Council on 15 January 2020 and noted that it reflected the international community’s recognition of the seriousness of the situation,” a statement issued by the PM’ Office (PMO) after the meeting said.

The participants discussed the preparations for the Kashmir Day observed on Feb 5 every year to express solidarity with the Kashmiris living under Indian occupation. This year’s Kashmir Day would have added significance because it would be the first such observance since India annexed the valley in Aug 2019. It was decided that the day would be observed in “a befitting manner”.

“The participants condemned India’s inhuman lockdown of 8 million Kashmiris for over 165 days, the egregious human rights violations of Kashmiris by over 900,000 Indian occupation forces,” the PMO said.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s unshakable political, diplomatic and moral support for and solidarity with the Kashmiri people until the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination.

He had earlier tweeted: “J&K dispute must be resolved in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions & the will of the Kashmiri people. We will continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people until they secure their inalienable right to self-determination.”

The participants of the meeting feared that BJP government’s belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions on the ground posed a threat to peace and security. “It was underlined that the RSS-inspired BJP government’s ‘Hindutva’ mindset, with its anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmiri obsession, was responsible for creating a perilous situation for regional peace and stability,” the PMO said.

The meeting also discussed the provocative statements recently made by Indian political and military leaders, particularly the new army chief Gen MM Naravane. The corps commanders conference held earlier this week had rejected Gen Naravane’s statements as irresponsible rhetoric and a threat for regional peace.

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