ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan yesterday urged India to respect Kashmiris freedom as both the nuclear-armed rivals prepare to celebrate their independence days.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said it was harrowing to note that more than 650 Kashmiris had been martyred since 5 August 2019, including over 130 in the year 2022 alone. In the past week, Indian occupation forces have martyred six more innocent Kashmiris in Kulgam, Pulwama and Rajouri areas of IIOJK.

“Extra-judicial killings, harassment and humiliation, arbitrary arrests, and house raids by the Indian occupation forces have become the ‘new normal’ in the IIOJK,” he added.

Over the past seven decades, he said, three generations of Kashmiris have waited for the world community and the United Nations to honour their solemn commitment made to the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination.

“The international community must demand an end to India’s gross and widespread human rights violations in IIOJK; reversal of its unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019; repeal of draconian laws; and implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir,” Ahmed said.

He said that Youm-e-Istehsal was observed on 5th August. “The day was observed across the Pakistan to denounce the third year of Indian military siege of IIOJK in the wake of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 and subsequent measures aimed at undermining the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir, and to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory,” he said.

The spokesperson said it was an occasion to reaffirm the nation’s unwavering support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination.

The spokesperson said it was unfortunate that as the people of India and Pakistan approach the Independence Day celebrations, the BJP government has shown its true colours with its mischievous move to mark 14 August as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’.

“We strongly denounce this move which reeks of the reprehensible playbook of hatred, misinformation and communalism that has become the hallmark of BJP-led India of today. It is deplorable that the BJP government, as part of its divisive political agenda, is wantonly attempting to play with the sentiments of the people through one-sided and distorted interpretation of history,” he contended.

The government of India, he said, is advised to desist from politicizing the events related to independence and instead sincerely honour the memories of all those who sacrificed their lives for a better future for all.”

He said Pakistan will proudly celebrate the magnificent milestone of our Diamond Jubilee, as befits the nation. Preparations are underway across Federal and Provincial governments to celebrate the momentous occasion with various activities.

“Notably, this includes release of the new recording of our National Anthem.  On its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also paying a musical tribute to ‘Pakistan At 75’ through a special rendition by officers of the Ministry to be released on August 14,” he mentioned.

He said Pakistan supported global efforts for peace across the world and in Afghanistan.