President Dr Arif Alvi has resolved that Pakistan would continue to be the voice of its Kashmiri brothers and sisters, who had been making invaluable sacrifices, and would extend all possible support for the fullest realization of their legitimate rights. “We have no doubt that durable peace and stability in South Asia can only be achieved through a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” the president said in his message on Youm-e-Istehsal annually observed on August 5. He said that India unleashed its illegal and unilateral actions on August 5, 2019 in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) with the aim of disempowering, disenfranchising, and dispossessing the Kashmiri people in their own land. These measures were designed to permanently occupy the disputed territory and erase its distinct Kashmiri character, he remarked. He said that India deviously attempted to convince the world that Jammu and Kashmir was an undisputed part of its territory. However, it was India that took the Jammu and Kashmir issue to the Security Council, where the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir was internationally recognized. It was decided that the final disposition of the State should be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). President Alvi said that the indomitable will and courage of the Kashmiri people had enabled them to withstand every Indian attempt to terrorize and subjugate them. “Despite all of India’s massive coercive methods, they have not been able to extinguish their yearning for freedom. India has been trampling upon the rights and aspirations of the Kashmiri people through machinations and intrigue for the last 75 years. However, since 5 August 2019, IIOJK has been transformed into an open prison,” he added. He said that India’s continued denial of the rights of the Kashmiri people was a wrongful and illegal act and no amount of diplomatic duplicity or Indian state-perpetrated terror could change this fact. India must fulfill its obligations to the Security Council by granting the Kashmiri people their lawful right to self-determination, the president emphasised. Pakistan always forcefully raised plight of Kashmiris at world forums: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi on Friday informed the National Assembly that Pakistan has always forcefully raised the plight of the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) at all world forums. Replying to a question during Question Hour, he said all the political parties of the country have a united stance on the Kashmir dispute. Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) defended issues, complaints and related matters on human rights through Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said. He said the concerns were usually conveyed by United Nations, EU, and USA State Department. Some INGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch also share their concerns against the state of Pakistan on human rights issues. Such concerns include freedom of expression, custodial torture, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance, protection of minorities, women rights and child rights etc, he said. He said accordingly, the MoHR submitted its responses through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as per the given mandate under the rules of business. Additionally, various UN treaty bodies communicate their observations/ recommendations as a result of a review of obligatory reports submitted by Pakistan on ratified human rights conventions. The Minister for Parliament Affairs said our departments concerned are alert to counter the negative propaganda against Pakistan. He said besides, the Universal Periodic Review Report of Pakistan which provided a holistic overview of the human rights situation, was also presented in Human Rights Council after every 4 years. Pakistan has recently defended/ presented its fourth Universal Periodic Review report in Human Rights Council on 30 January 2023, he said. During review of Pakistan’s Human Rights record, concerns shown by various states on human rights issues were vehemently defended by a high-level delegation of Pakistan comprising the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the Secretary Ministry of Human Rights, and representatives from the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Religious Affairs, he said. He said additionally, the Government of Pakistan, submitted Periodic Reports on ratified human rights conventions and optional protocols through MoFA and defended before relevant treaty bodies. Lastly, the minister said Pakistan is the GSP + beneficiary regularly submitted biannual implementation reports on 27 Conventions related to human rights, labor, environment, anti-narcotics, and good governance to European Union through the Ministry of Commerce.