Turmoil in Kashmir not due to cross-border terrorism: Sartaj Aziz

Islamabad: Pakistan today claimed that the international community has rejected India’s contention that the turmoil in Kashmir is primarily a cross-border terrorism issue, as it blamed India for “scuttling” all opportunities for a “meaningful” dialogue to resolve the issue. Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, in a hard-hitting statement, said Islamabad has always welcomed the endeavours aimed at addressing the human rights issues in the Valley and the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“India’s contention that the Kashmir issue is, primarily, an issue of cross-border terrorism, is a claim that no one in the world is prepared to accept today,” Aziz said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

He also welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s suggestion of having a multilateral dialogue to resolve the issue. The recent offer of the Turkish President Erdogan to strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue and his call for a multilateral approach to settle the issue must be welcomed, Aziz said.

“In this context, the Indian counter proposal that it is ready for bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is no longer credible because in the past two decades India has scuttled all opportunities for a meaningful dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions on Kashmir,” Aziz said. He alleged that the Indian government has broken its “own record of brutality” in Kashmir by “indiscriminately killing” unarmed Kashmiri protestors. Aziz said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Declaration’ adopted by the 13th Summit in Istanbul, in April last, “out-rightly rejected India’s attempts of equating the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle with terrorism.”

“Political analysts and members of civil society from across the globe have concluded that the large scale uprising, which is going on in Kashmir, involving mostly young unarmed Kashmiris confronting fully armed Indian forces, clearly shows that Kashmir is a burning issue requiring urgent international attention,” Aziz said.

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