Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey on Thursday said India would not get away with crimes it has been committing in the “occupied” state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi made the remarks during an event held at the Pakistani Embassy in Ankara, on the second anniversary of India’s annexation of the disputed Himalayan valley. The event was attended by officials, journalists, and diplomatic representatives.
On Aug. 5, 2019, the Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomous status, and divided it into two centrally ruled territories.
It also locked the region down, detaining thousands of people that included top politicians, imposing movement restrictions and enforcing a communications blackout.
In Pakistan, the day is referred to as Youm-e-Istehsal, or Day of Exploitation, as a sign of protest. Islamabad says New Delhi’s actions are aimed at changing the demographic structure of the Muslim-majority region.
“Today we are gathered here just to mark one more dark chapter in the history of Kashmir that is what was oppression until 2019, and has now become plain brutal demographic exploitation and obliteration of the Kashmiri identity,” Qazi said.
“Having this discussion is a small reminder for everybody, particularly India, that it will not be able to and will not be allowed to get away with its crimes. India will not succeed in doing this to the Kashmiris.”
The ambassador praised Turkey and the Turkish people for setting an example for the international community in terms of how to approach and address the Kashmir issue.
“Turkey’s position is that the two countries, Pakistan and India need to have a meaningful dialogue under international law,” he said.
Turkish Parliamentarian Asuman Erdogan also addressed the event, saying Turkey has on every platform reiterated its support for Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Turkey has insisted on the peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue … in line with the decision taken by the UN Security Council,” she said. “Turkey unconditionally objects to the aggravation, oppression, conflict, persecution, military deployment, and human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir committed by India.”
Kashmir has been the main ingredient in the long-simmering rivalry between Pakistan and India since the two nuclear-armed neighbors gained independence from the British Empire in 1947.
The picturesque Himalayan valley is held by the two countries in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.
Since 1947, the two neighbors have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting against the Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989.
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