Needling India yet again, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he was "obliged" to become the voice of the "oppressed" people of Kashmir and would "leave no stone unturned" to make the world understand the "plight" of the people in the Valley.
Sharif also shot off letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, urging efforts to end the "persistent and egregious violation of the basic human rights" of the Kashmiri people and also to implement UN Security Council resolutions, a Foreign Office statement said.
Sharif chaired a preparatory meeting for the upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA) attended by his foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, special assistant on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi, foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Pakistan's permanent representative in the UN Maleeha Lodhi and Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani and other senior officials.
The meeting reviewed the agendas to be included in the next session of UN General Assembly in which the premier is expected to participate, a statement issued by the Premier's office said.
"It is an obligation for me as Prime Minister of Pakistan to become the voice of Kashmiris who have been oppressed in Kashmir. I will leave no stone unturned to make the world understand the plight and the legitimate struggle of the people of Kashmir," Sharif said.
The meeting observed that "Kashmir remains an unfinished agenda of the United Nations and accordingly India must realise that Kashmir is not its internal matter, rather it is a matter of regional and international concern".
Sharif said the denial of right of self-determination for Kashmiris is one of the persistent failures of the UN.
"The right of self-determination is the basic right of Kashmiris and we will make every effort to make Kashmiris captain of their own ship," the statement quoted Sharif as saying in the meeting.
The Foreign Office statement, giving details of the letters sent by Sharif to Ban and Zeid said, "Highlighting human rights abuses by Indian forces, Prime Minister stated that more than 50 deaths and 3,500 injuries had taken place, out of which 400 were critical."
"The use of illegitimate and excessive force against innocent civilians protesting peacefully over extra-judicial killings was a blatant violation of a range of fundamental rights," the statement said.
In the letters, Sharif alleged that force was being used to prevent access to hospitals, to harass doctors and prevent access to medical facilities.
"The situation is a clear manifestation of Indian state terrorism to suppress the Kashmiris' struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination," the statement quoted the letters as saying.
Prime Minister Sharif called for investigation into the "brutalities and atrocities" committed by Indian forces, protection of Kashmiris' fundamental rights, a fair inquiry into the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and implementation of UN resolutions. Earlier, Sharif also offered to arrange for the treatment of Kashmiris who were injured in the ongoing violence in the Kashmir Valley. Sharif called upon the international community to request India to allow Pakistan to help in the treatment of the injured persons in the valley, Dawn Online reported citing a prime ministerial statement.
At least 55 people have been killed and hundreds injured in the present unrest in the Kashmir Valley since Hizbul militant Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with Indian security forces on 8 July. Sharif said Pakistan wanted to provide medical treatment to the injured, particularly those injured by pellets.
Pakistan wants to get the best possible medical facilities available in the world for Kashmiris, he said.
The statement comes days after a war of words erupted between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Pakistan's Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan over Kashmir, prompting Singh to leave a Saarc meeting halfway through in Islamabad.
"The magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir has compelled us to immediately pool our material and human resources for the victims' [treatment]," Sharif said.
"Being blinded has severe consequences for the victims and their families. Some victims of the pellet guns may never see light again. Still, they are resolute; they are guided by the light of freedom for the realisation of their right to self-determination. The world should realise this. Pakistan will continue to support them morally, politically and diplomatically," Sharif maintained.
According to the statement, Sharif has directed Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to mobilise support from the international community, humanitarian organisations and civil society through Pakistani missions abroad to exert pressure on India to allow Pakistan to arrange for the treatment of Kashmiris on humanitarian grounds.
The Pakistani government will provide for the boarding, lodging and medical expenses of the victims, he said.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 10, 2016 15:05:00 IST