Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday that all Kashmiris have rejected India’s decision to annex illegal occupied Kashmir on August 5 last year, stressing that while New Delhi has been able to suppress the voices of Kashmiris, their “minds remain free.”
These remarks came during a visit to the Chirikot sector along the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Qureshi, who was accompanied by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan Army officers and media personnel, was briefed about India’s ceasefire violations from across the dividing line.
Speaking to a gathering of people living in villages along the LoC, Qureshi said Indian border troops targeted unarmed and innocent civilians with their bullets
“We salute your courage that despite the suffering, you remain at your places, your morale remains high and you haven’t left your homes and moved. This is your commitment and your connection with this valley,” he told the residents.
“The victory will be yours, because you stand for truth. This world acknowledges that,” he said, but added: “It is a different matter that they become silent due to expediencies and trade interests.”
He said no Kashmiri was ready to accept India’s decision to annex occupied Kashmir. “They are restricted and locked up … but minds and hearts cannot be locked up,” he added.
Shah Mahmood said that the world was not openly speaking out on the illegal occupied Kashmir issue due to economic and other interests it shared with India.
He said that Indian forces deployed along the Line of Control have been targeting innocent Kashmiris and the evidence of that were the wounded sitting right in front of them. Qureshi said Pakistan would raise voice for the Kashmiris at every international forum and highlight their plight at the hands of Indian security forces. He emphasised that the Pakistani nation, military and political leadership had a consensus on the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan as an ambassador of Kashmir and I myself as a foreign minister are fighting your case at every forum,” he said, adding that every effort would be made to “shake the conscience of the world”.
The minister noted that India was giving a false impression about the resumption of normalcy in occupied Kashmir.
“If the situation is normal then why are the bodies of martyrs not being returned? It is because they are afraid of the reaction,” he said, adding that New Delhi had deployed 900,000 troops in the region for the same reason. “They are degenerating psychologically, while you are winning this fight with determination,” Qureshi said.
He told the villagers that the Kashmir Highway in Islamabad had been renamed as the Srinagar Highway “because our destination is Srinagar”. He said the day was not far when Kashmiris “will offer prayers of gratitude at Srinagar’s Jamia mosque”.
Following the visit, SAPM Yusuf said he was “so proud of our armed forces for defending Kashmiris against constant Indian aggression and CFVs (ceasefire violations)”. He paid tribute to the resolve of the victims of the Indian firing to “support the goal of their Kashmiri brethren for self-determination and liberation from illegal Indian occupation”.