The Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC has hosted a webinar to mark 3rd ‘Youm-e-Istehsal’, in which participants called for immediate revocation of Indian government’s unilateral and illegal actions over Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) and resolution of the issue under the United Nations Security Council resolutions. The panelist included former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons UK MP Afzal Khan, Shamim Shawl, Lord Wajid Khan and Kashmiri American Rizwan Kadir, a press release on Saturday said. Former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik stressed upon the need for resolving the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He recalled his mediatory efforts in 2019 which included his visit to India, Srinagar, Muzzafarabad and Islamabad and said it was a rare visit by an international statesman to Srinagar. He believed that such diplomatic efforts must be sustained to explore a formula acceptable to all and said that he would send an appeal to the UN Secretary General in this regard. “It is high time and urgent to initiate new political efforts which can pave the way for peace. The United Nations should feel a responsibility, and I also will appeal to my friend, Secretary General Antonio Guterres to take such an initiative,” Bondevik added. He appealed to the Indian government to release Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik. Addressing the webinar, Pakistan Ambassador to the US Masood Khan said that the developments that took place on August 5, 2019 continued to cast their shadow over the fate of the Kashmiris and peace and security in South Asia. He emphasized that India should revisit and retract its unilateral and illegal steps, Kashmiris’ right to self-determination be respected by all and space be created for multilateral diplomacy and tripartite dialogue. “The United Nations should take a fresh initiative, engage on the subject and the permanent members of the Security Council should take cognizance of the situation lest this dispute should become a blind spot for international security of international community,” the ambassador further stressed. The ambassador also underscored the need for consensus building among the powerful P-5 countries over the Kashmir issue. Masood Khan also demanded immediate release of political prisoners including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Qasim Faktoo and Mussarrat Alam, and others. Senator Mushahid Hussain highlighted that 15,000 political prisoners had been incarcerated since August 5, 2019. Pointing out a loss of $5.3 billion to the economy and half of a million jobs lost, senator Mushahid said that 4 million outsiders had been given domiciles in IIoJK and 1.2 million people had been added to the voters’ list. “There is insidious design to transform the demographic balance of Indian occupied Kashmir and make the Muslim majority into a minority,” he added. He said that Modi government had ideological agenda of Muslims’ bashing at home and Pakistan’s bashing abroad which, he said, was a threat to the regional peace and security. Afzal Khan, Deputy Leader in the House of Commons UK, pointed out that discrimination against minorities and hate speech had become normalized and institutionalized in India. He also expressed his serious concerns over the recent actions by the Indian government to close trusts and incarceration of political activists and stressed upon the need for implementation of UN resolutions and holding plebiscite in the area. Shamim Shawl and Kashmiri American leader Rizwan Kadir also shared their thoughts about the situation in J&K post August 2019.