Draft Message by the Adviser on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan on 27 October 2022 ‘Kashmir Black Day’

Today marks seventy-five years of Indian illegal occupation of Kashmir. It was on October 27, 1947 that the Indian government conspired with the Hindu ruler of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir, who allowed Indian troops to forcibly enter and occupy the area, against the wishes of the Muslim majority.

More than seven decades have passed since then. In this time, India has tried every possible way to break the will of the Kashmiri people. However, their bravery and resilience has ensured that the Kashmir cause continues to remain the focus of world attention.

India cannot lay claim over Kashmir. It has no locus standi from the point of international law. Its occupation is illegal and in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention.Three years ago, Indiabroke away from its own commitment to the Kashmiri people and revoked Article 370 and 35A of its constitution, that granted special status to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK). After stripping IIOJK of its rights, India has now embarked upon a sinister campaign to alter the demographic composition of Kashmir. It has already issued millions ofdomicile certificatesto non-Kashmiris and has modified property sale and ownership laws. It is manipulating local elections by redrawing constituency boundaries to put Muslims at a disadvantage, allocating disproportionately higher seats for Hindu-majority areas, and expanding the voter rolls to include non-Kashmiri temporary residents. All these steps are being done with full support of the Indian government and administration. Imposing a Hindu Chief Minister in IIOJK remains the sole aim of this entire exercise.

Despite killing thousands of innocent Kashmiris since 1947, India has only intensified its human rights atrocities in IIOJK after its unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019. More than 690 Kashmiris have been extrajudicially martyred in the last three years, including more than 170 in this year alone,bythe Indian occupation forces. Targeting of the Kashmiri youth in fake encounters and cordon-and-search operations by the Indian occupation forces has become a daily occurrence. Almost the entire Kashmiri political leadership remains illegally incarcerated and some have been implicated in fake cases and sentenced after sham trials. Hurriyat leader Muhammad Yasin Malik is suffering from poor health, Altaf Ahmed Shah – son in law of late Syed Ali Geelani, passed away from cancer in anIndian jail after he was denied proper medical care, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq remains under house arrest. Others including Asiya Andrabi, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, and MasaratAlam Bhat remain detained. Media has been stifled through censorship, threat and fear of reprisals.

In pursuit of this anti-peace and anti-Muslim ‘Hindutva’ agenda, the BJP-RSS nexus has destabilized South Asia and put peace in peril for the nearly 1.8 billion people of the region. Lasting peace, security and development can only be achieved by peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The people of Pakistan have always stood shoulder to shoulder with the Kashmiri people. On this Kashmir Black Day, we stand in solidarity with and support of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.

The international community must condemn India and hold it accountable for its heinous crimes in the IIOJK. The United Nations, OIC and other human rights organizations must convince India to work towards a just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.India has to end itsgross and widespread human rights violations in IIOJK, reverse the illegal and unilateral measures of 5 August 2019 and allow the Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

            Until the realization of their freedom, the people of Kashmir will always find moral, diplomatic and political support ofPakistan.