Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has asked India to end its “unlawful occupation” of Kashmir in its own interest, warning any delay in the settlement of the lingering dispute could spell “disaster” for regional peace. India should give in to the public sentiment in Kashmir in its own interest and end its unlawful occupation of the territory, Hussain said at a function in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in connection with the birth anniversary of ‘Quaid-i-Azam’ Mohammad Ali Jinnah on Friday.
“The (Indian) occupation forces have employed every brute tactic to suppress the Kashmiris…so much so that the pellet guns meant for hunting wild animals have also been ceaselessly used by them on the innocent and unarmed people of Kashmir,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn. The human rights violations and repression in Kashmir were enough to shake the global conscience, he claimed and called on the international community to help Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination.
“A further delay in the settlement of the lingering dispute could spell disaster for regional peace,” he warned. Hussain’s speech was part of Pakistan’s efforts to highlight the issue of Kashmir, which has led to increased hostility between India and Pakistan for more than a year. Last year, after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with Indian security forces in south Kashmir on July 8, Pakistan had described him as a “martyr”.