Adviser to Paksitan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, reacting to Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj's statement on Kashmir, stated on Sunday that a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir.
"Such a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir and not by the External Affairs Minister of India."
Aziz added the right to self-determination has been given to the people of Kashmir by the United Nations Security Council.
"It is high time that India allowed the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise this right through a free and fair UN supervised plebiscite," stated the foreign affair adviser.
Aziz further said the world will accept the decision taken by the Kashmiri people, and it is their choice to either integrate with Pakistan or India. Swaraj had also disagreed with Pakistan terming Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen separatist commander, as a martyr and stated Wani was a wanted terrorist.
"India cannot ignore the fact that over 200,000 Kashmiris participated in the funeral prayers of Burhan Muzaffar Wani in 50 different locations throughout Indian-occupied Kashmir, despite strict curfew which still continues 15 days after Wani's extrajudicial murder on 8 July 2016," replied Aziz to Swaraj's earlier statement.
"Let us not forget, as one Indian writer has reminded us, that not long ago the British labelled Indian freedom fighters as traitors and terrorists because at that time India was considered an integral part of the British Empire," added Aziz.
Aziz assured the people of Kashmir that the government and the people of Pakistan remain firmly committed in their moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris' indigenous movement for self-determination and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir. Swaraj on Saturday said Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must understand that "Kashmir can never become a part of Pakistan". AGENCIES