ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has urged the international community to play its due role in stopping atrocities committed by the Indian authorities on civilians in the held Kashmir who demand a freedom from Indian rule.
In his latest statement, the co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday said that what the people of Kashmir were demanding was a right to self-determination and if they were deprived of their basic rights, they would be left to suffer for the rest of their lives in the troubled valley.
The world had pledged to the people of Kashmir that they would be allowed to decide their fate which they must honour now, said Zardari.
“The Indian forces were inhumanely treating the political captives in the held Kashmir particularly after the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, a popular separatist leader,” the former president said.
Zardari said that the Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik, had been languishing in prison since Wani’s death while his health remained in a bad condition.
He said if the world powers were under an illusion that peace could be restored in the region without resolving the issue of Kashmir, they were sadly mistaken.
Kashmir has been divided between Pakistan and India since the end of British rule in the year 1947.
Both the neighbouring countries claim the territory in full.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep across the Kashmir valley, where separatist groups have fought Indian troops since 1989 for either independence or a merger with Pakistan.
Tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours has soared after a militant attack last month on an Indian army base killed 19 soldiers, with the two armies exchanging heavy fire and mortars across their de facto border in Kashmir almost every day.