Speakers Summit: India knocked out in Maldives

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ISLAMABAD: India was knocked out at the Speakers Summit in Maldives on Sunday as the host rejected its objection over raising of the Kashmir issue by Pakistan.

A major argument broke out between Pakistan and Indian delegates inside the Maldives Parliament after Pakistani delegates raised the Kashmir issue at the forum. As the Indian delegation raised objections, Speaker of Maldivian Parliament Mohamed Nasheed was seen trying to control the situation. The Maldives Parliament (Majlis) was hosting the 4th South Asian Speakers Summit on achieving sustainable development goals. Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri and Senator Quratulain Marri represented Pakistan, while India was represented by Harivansh Narayan Singh, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. “We cannot ignore the situation of Kashmiris who are facing oppression. They are facing injustice,” Qasim Suri said in his remarks, drawing a strong reaction from India. Harivansh Narayan Singh said, “We strongly object to raising of the internal matter of India in this forum.”

“This forum and summit is meant to discuss SDGs,” he insisted.

Deteriorating situation in IHK: Sanders asks US to back UN-backed solution

Responding to Narayan Singh, Quratulain Marri said, “SDGs for women and youth, nothing can be achieved without human rights. Atrocities were being meted out to Kashmiris.”

The verbal spat between the two delegations did not die down as Singh interrupted Marri. Quratulain Marri said “Pakistan is not a purveyor of terror” to which the deputy Rajya Sabha speaker said this meet is for SDG discussion.

The speaker of the Maldives Parliament had to scream multiple times to maintain civility but the ruckus continued.

Qasim Suri remained determined in his resolve to tell the world about Indian brutalities in IHK. He said the entire valley had been converted into a heavily militarised zone and people were being stopped to perform their religious obligations.

The deputy speaker stressed upon the South Asian countries to support the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination under the auspicious of the United Nations (UN). He said means of communication had been disconnected in the occupied valley, aggravating the agony of the people, and that the international community must raise the Kashmir issue at appropriate level by asserting pressure on India for its resolution in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people.

He reiterated Pakistan’s stance for morally and diplomatically supporting Kashmiris, saying that the attitude of India towards the Kashmir issue was putting South Asia’s peace and development at stake. It was the first interaction between Pakistan and India at the government level after latter’s unilateral action in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) on August 5.

The participants of the conference strongly condemned Indian atrocities in IHK and urged the international community to take notice of Indian brutalities.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan reminded the world to realise serious threats posed to regional peace by the supremacist Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has taken over the nuclear-armed India with a ‘mad ideology’.

Addressing the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Houston via video call, Imran Khan said the whole India is under the control of that extremist ideology, threatening the very fabric of Indian society, as all minorities were being systematically targeted. He said the RSS goons were sent to IHK for ethnic cleansing of Muslims.

The prime minister said Pakistan is facing the RSS supremacist threat which has engulfed India, a nuclear armed country with a population of over one billion people. To make his point, he referred to the recent development in India’s Assam region where 1.9 million minorities, including Muslims, are being stripped of their nationality.

The prime minister said the Christians are forcibly converted to Hinduism and their churches are attacked in India, while the Sikh community would soon face such a scenario. He said Muslims have no rights in India and that thing did not stop here. He said the RSS genie has come out of the bottle and would not return. He also expressed concerns for the future of 200 million Muslims in India. He said the former Indian home minister, in his public statement, had admitted that RSS terrorists were trained in camps and it had about four million members.

Imran once again urged the international community to realise its responsibility in resolving the Kashmir issue. He said the dispute had put the two nuclear armed countries face to face with each other after the Indian government’s unilateral and illegal action in IHK, he added. India, he said, could stage a Pulwama like incident to divert the world attention to Pakistan. He said India might resort to any misadventure or attack inside Azad Kashmir for diverting the international community’s attention from its gross human rights abuses, carnage and bloodshed in IHK.

The prime minister cautioned the world to realise the consequences of such a conflict which would not be like something happened in Rwanda or Bosnia as both the countries were nuclear armed and in case of any aggression, Pakistan would retaliate in a befitting manner.

Imran Khan said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was requested to play its role, and he would also raise the issue at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session in New York. He said the Indian government clamped curfew in IHK, which entered into 26th day on Sunday to suppress the Kashmiri struggle for freedom and self-determination as mandated by the UN Security Council resolutions.

“About nine million people are under curfew. There is complete communication shut down, media blackout whereas people are picked up forcibly. Around 8,000 are in prisons and about 4,000 are taken out of the valley. Kashmiri leadership is arrested and even Indian opposition leaders are barred from entering IHK. No news is coming out,” he said.

The premier said about 900,000 Indian soldiers were deployed in IHK and all this is happening in the 21st century. He said Narendra Modi’s government had annexed Kashmir, which was a disputed territory.

“The UN Security Council resolutions had given Kashmiris the right to decide their own destiny through referendum. The UNSC resolutions still stand,” he said.

The BJP government, he said, annulled its own constitution, by scrapping Article 370, which gave a special status to IHK, besides Article 335A with the aim to change demography of the area by turning Muslim majority into minority. “It is also a violation of Geneva Convention as its Article 49 says that you cannot change the demography of the occupied lands,” he stressed.

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