Pakistan to ramp up Kashmir issue on UNGA President’s visit

Qureshi highlighted the importance of the visit of foreign journalists and challenged India to do the same in Jammu and Kashmir.
Imran Khan at UNGA
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at UNGA

Islamabad, Jul 26 : The newly-elected President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will arrive in Islamabad on Monday as the Imran Khan-led government in Pakistan aims to rank up the Kashmir issue against India.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he will be having a one-on-one meeting with UNGA President Volhan Bozkir, in which, he will brief the latter about the situation in “occupied Kashmir” and present Pakistan’s stance on the matter.

Qureshi had congratulated Turkey’s Bozkir on his election on June 21.

“On behalf of the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I would like to extend my warm felicitation on your unanimous election by all member states as the President of the historic 75th Session of the UN General Assembly,” Qureshi had said in a letter.

As per sources, Pakistan is eyeing the visit as an opportunity to bring the longstanding issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan to the front, calling on the UNGA President to take notice of the conflict.

Commenting about his meeting with the UNGA President, Qureshi said that his prime focus would stay on what he called “atrocities committed by the Indian armed forces in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.

Bozkir is the first Turkish national to head the UNGA. He will be taking office in September and will keep the post for a period of one year.

Bozkir is currently a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker from Istanbul and head of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

While on one side Pakistan is planning on ranking up the Kashmir issue with the UNGA President, a buildup to the cause is already in full swing as Pakistan military establishment, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) arranged a trip to the Line of Control (LoC) for foreign media journalists.

Journalists were taken to Chirikot sector of the LoC, where they engaged with the families of those Kashmiris, who have suffered casualties and damages of properties due to ongoing exchange of shelling between Indian and Pakistan border forces in the recent past.

“They witnessed for themselves the destruction and injuries caused to the civilian population along the LoC. They also witnessed the multilayered surveillance and defence system along the LoC erected by India which completely negates the hollow allegations by senior-most military and civilians officials of India and the constant propaganda by the Indian media against Pakistan of cross-border infiltration and the so-called launch pads,” said Aisha Farooqui, spokesperson of Pakistan Foreign Office.

Qureshi highlighted the importance of the visit of foreign journalists and challenged India to do the same in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Will India follow suit and allow independent media to visit the occupied valley?” he questioned, adding that “India even denied access to UN observers who are allowed to visit and observe violations on Pakistan’s side of the LoC”.

Taking a dig at India, Qureshi stated that it was not only Pakistan that India had bad relations with as China, Nepal and Bangladesh too had strained relations with New Delhi.

“The expulsion by Iran of India from Chabahar project is also because of its wrong policies and this was due to its Hindutva mindset,” he said.

The overall exercise seems to be a build-up to the visit of UNGA president, aimed at creating references of international media coverage and Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue, showing it as being in line with the resolution of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Pakistan also aims to show India as the clear and open violator of human rights as well as the UN resolution requirements.

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