Tell India ‘enough is enough’ in Kashmir: Pakistan urges world

Islamabad, Jan 5 (IANS) Pakistan on Thursday urged the world community to tell India that “enough is enough” over Kashmir and hold a promised referendum in the state.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz, addressing an International Parliamentary Seminar on Kashmir here, said Pakistan was determined to support Kashmiris despite certain foreign policy challenges.

“Seventy years of brutal repression and Kashmiri struggle in the face of that oppression have shown cries of freedom cannot be stifled by sounds of bullets,” Sharif said.

Aziz said the government “will continue highlighting the Kashmir issue and human rights violations there”.

Pakis­tan, he said, had to prove wrong New Delhi’s stance that Islamabad was fuelling trouble in Kashmir.

“It is purely an indigenous movement led by Kashmiri youth and without any external support,” he stressed.

Admitting that there were foreign policy challenges, Aziz said it was very difficult to stand ground during testing times for protecting vital interests.

Pakistan’s position, he said, had strengthened the Kashmir cause and the international community was now asking India to discuss the dispute.

Pakistan last year launched an extensive international outreach to mobilise support for Kashmir movement, sending 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to important international capitals amid a deadly unrest in the valley that left nearly 100 people dead after the July 8 killing of militant leader Burhan Wani.

The turmoil in Kashmir, which India blamed on Pakistan, worsened the already deteriorating ties between the two countries.

Aziz said it was not possible for the two neighbours to hold peace talks on unilateral conditions laid by India.

“The basic problem is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to improve relations on his own terms. One of his basic conditions is that there should be no discussion on Kashmir,” Aziz said.

This was not acceptable to Pakistan, he said.