Interview with Pakistani Ambassador to Indonesia: Kashmir Solidarity Day

Photo: Abdullah/MINA

The Muslim-majority population of Jammu & Kashmir is still experiencing violence and oppression by the Indian security forces, even their right to self-determination which is relevant to the UN Resolution has not been realized.

Pakistan, as a Muslim-majority country, continues to voice its support in bilateral, multilateral and international forums to find a solution to this long-delayed problem.

Every February 5, Pakistan commemorates Kashmir Solidarity Day. This is a form of Pakistan’s real support for the Kashmir & Jammu region, which is illegally occupied by India.

Pakistani embassies around the world on that date held various special events and meetings to attract international support, especially Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia.

For this purpose, the team of journalists from MINA News Agency held an exclusive interview with the Pakistani Ambassador to Indonesia Muhammad Hassan at the Pakistan Embassy in Jakarta on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

Kashmir Solidarity Day is celebrated every 5th February, what are the special activities to commemorate the day?

So every February 5th is celebrated as Kashmir Solidarity Day. The day is actually to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people who have not been given their rights until now.

But of course, this is a day to remind India and the international community that there have been problems for the past 75 years, that the UN resolutions have not been implemented by India and that Kashmiri people’s human rights are being violated.

Pakistan will stand behind the Kashmiris, providing support to them to get their own land. So that’s the basic goal.

Every February 5th, Pakistani Embassies around the world organize special events and meetings to draw the attention of the world community to India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir and the gross violations of human rights and brutality against innocent Kashmiris by Indian security forces.

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In addition, the date also reminds residents and friendly countries such as Indonesia that it is necessary to play a role in resolving the Kashmir issue.

How is the current condition of the Jammu & Kashmir region?

Kashmir is like Palestine. Both Palestine and Kashmir face the occupation and subjugation of the Muslim majority by non-Muslim authorities as well as human rights violations against them. So Pakistan is concerned about this condition like other Islamic countries.

One thing I want to emphasize is that what is happening in Kashmir is not a bilateral, political or territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, not at all. It is about the right to self-determination and gaining human rights of the 11 million inhabitants of Muslim-majority Kashmir.

The right of self-determination has been guaranteed by the United Nations through various resolutions and was agreed upon by both Pakistan and India in 1947 and 1951. Both sides had promised that they would give the Kashmiri people a chance to decide their own future, but India ignored the people’s wishes. Kashmir and they want to keep pressing it.

In September 2021, the Government of Pakistan released a dossier, documenting details of the human rights abuses committed by the Indian authorities in Kashmir.

The file consists of incriminating audio, video and documentary evidence of gross human rights violations, war crimes, genocide and torture of Kashmiris by India. The 131-page document contains 113 references including 26 from international media, 41 from Indian think-tanks and only 14 from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, The Genocide Watch has issued a genocide alert for Jammu & Kashmir. According to the independent human rights organization, more than 100,000 innocent Kashmiris have been murdered and 25,000 women raped since 1989.

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Are there any talks with India to find a solution for peace in Kashmir?

Unfortunately no, that’s the problem. Pakistan used to hold bilateral talks with India, but stopped after Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.

So the first thing India did was stop all talks with Pakistan, whereas Prime Minister Imran Khan has always been open. They are not ready to listen to anyone. The Modi government has even stopped talking to the Kashmiri leaders of the Indian administration.

The BJP is a Hindu nationalist party. Not only against Kashmiri Muslims, but also Muslims in India itself. Modi commits all forms of violence with the aim of cleansing Muslims.

India also made changes to the Constitution unilaterally, namely revoking the special status of the Jammu & Kashmir region and illegally dividing it into three parts.

What India is doing to the Kashmir part, like what Israel has done to Palestine, is dividing it into parts and then annexing it.

According to His Excellency the Ambassador, how significant is the support of a Muslim country, such as Indonesia for the settlement of Kashmir?

Their support is very important. We need to jointly pressure India to comply with the agreed UN Resolutions and stop human rights violations against the people of Jammu & Kashmir. But certainly not pressure to use the military.

Indonesia, as an important member of the International community, as well as an influential country in Asia, and having the largest Muslim population in the world, can play an important role in finding solutions to these problems.

MeanwhilePakistan fully welcomes the role of third parties, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other countries, in conflict resolution.

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Some media reported that many mosques in Kashmir were closed by the Indian authorities under the pretext of being a hotbed of terrorists, so what actually happened?

The Hindu nationalist party BJP and the RSS organization in India are replicas of Nazi Germany. What they want is to rid India of Muslims. Not only that, at a political level the Indian government has passed laws that allow all other minorities to come to India but not Muslims.

All Muslims who have been in India from generation to generation, are required to provide proof of being Indian and that proof must be in the form of documents.

The Modi government also considers that every Muslim is a terrorist and everyone talks about human rights abuses in the region they will end.

Recently, a number of human rights activists and journalists who voiced human rights abuses in the region were silenced and imprisoned. They want to do it all over India, not just in Kashmir.

Apart from political aid, what else can be done to solve the Kashmir issue?

Kashmir has been at war alone with the occupying forces for 75 years. There are 900,000 Indian troops deployed in Kashmir. That means for every 10 Kashmiris, there is one Indian soldier stationed, and they all commit offenses, rapes, murders, kidnappings and more.

It was a human rights violation that has been documented by Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and even independent human rights organizations in India.

What support Pakistan can give to Kashmiris is to give them political support and diplomatic model in all international forums, including UN, OIC and with friendly countries especially influential Islamic countries, like Indonesia. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)