ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties in National Assembly on Wednesday demanded that the government declare a ‘diplomatic emergency’ over Kashmir dispute, while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi invited the opposition parties to come forward and give their input, assuring that every positive suggestion will be entertained by the government to highlight the Kashmir issue at the international level.
Addressing the National Assembly session, Qureshi said the Lower House has unanimously passed a resolution condemning India’s illegal annexation of the occupied valley, and praised the opposition for supporting the government on the issue. He said the PTI-led government forcefully raised Kashmir issue at all the international forums, adding that the grave human rights violation in the occupied valley has become an international issue.
Talking about India’s illegal bifurcation of Kashmir, Qureshi said New Delhi is continuously violating the UN resolutions. He said Kashmir issue has been internationalised after 1965 due to effective and prompt diplomacy of the government, adding that the issue has been raised and discussed in US Congress, EU parliament, UNSC, OIC, and parliaments of various countries.
Qureshi went on to say that human rights organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also supported Pakistan’s stance of grave human rights violations in the occupied valley. “About 70 heads of states, governments, and foreign ministers of different countries were contacted to sensitise the world community to highlight the Kashmir issue,” he said. “We have tried to send the voice and concerns of the people of Pakistan to Kashmiris across the Line of Control, living under constant siege for over 120 days and over 1100 protest demonstrations have been reported whenever Indian occupation forces relieved curfew in the valley,” he said. “India is afraid of the backlash of Kashmiris to its illegal acts of annexing Kashmir on 5 August this year,” he added.
Qureshi also invited the opposition to come forward to give its input and assured that every positive suggestion will be incorporated to highlight the Kashmir issue.
Responding to PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, Qureshi said that he shouldn’t call Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) a ‘dead horse’ as 57 countries are members of the body and Pakistan needs their votes. “We cannot offend our OIC friends,” he said. “You (Ahsan Iqbal) are not serving Pakistan and Kashmir by calling the OIC a dead horse,” he added.
The sitting began with opposition members criticising the government’s ‘failure’ to highlight the Kashmir crisis, with both PPP and PML-N advising the government to declare a ‘diplomatic emergency’.
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal criticized the OIC’s what he called tepid response to the Kashmir crisis and said if the body does not agree to call a session on the issue, Pakistan should ‘immediately announce exit from it’. “We don’t need a dead forum that cannot even call a session on Kashmir,” he declared, and appealed to the foreign minister to visit at least 10 to 15 countries over the next 15 days and inform foreign governments about the situation in the occupied valley.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution to denounce desecration of Holy Quran in Norway and also witnessed introduction of four government bills which were referred to the relevant committees for further consideration. The bills introduced in the House included Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Surveying and Mapping (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Gwadar Port Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Privatization Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The House passed a motion to elect Standing Committee on Power and authorised the Speaker to nominate its members. Another motion was also adopted by the House for constituting a parliamentary committee to protect rights of persons with disabilities and suggest legislative measures and amendments in the existing laws.