Sirat-un-Nabi, Iqbal Day and Solidarity with Kashmir

Pakistani community based in Wellington in collaboration with High Commission organized an event “Sirat-un-Nabi, Iqbal Day and Solidarity with Kashmir” at Amesbury School Hall, Wellington on 9 November 2019. The event was attended by a large number of Pakistani families living in Wellington besides a few local Kiwis.

The keynote speaker on “Kashmir issue” was a kiwi journalist Mr. Bob Rigg, who formerly served as nuclear expert. Mr Rigg informed the people about the current situation in Kashmir from the perspective of a New Zealander. He stated that the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) was an internationally recognized disputed territory. The UNSC resolutions have established self- determination as the governing principle for the settlement of the Kashmir issue. The steps of 5 August 2019 taken by BJP government are reflective of its desire to change demographics of Kashmir. He mentioned that rise of BJP as a party in India was linked to communal strife between Hindus and Muslims and that its ideology is driven by RSS. He viewed that India should immediately restore the basic rights of the Kashmiri people and both Pakistan and India should solve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.

Dr. Khalid Sandhu, a leading Pakistani in New Zealand, gave a rundown on the genesis of RSS and how the BJP government in India was influenced by its ideology. He mentioned that Prime Minister Modi is a parchark of RSS.

High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Abdul Malik in his remarks said that Kashmir is an issue which involves serious human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces. Since last more than three months the whole territory of IOJ&K is in a state of siege. Kashmiri leaders remain under house arrest and imprisoned. International media and credible human rights organizations continue to highlight the humanitarian nightmare including arbitrary arrests of innocent Kashmiris, kidnapping of hundreds of youths by Indian occupation forces, communication blockade and curbs on freedom of media. He urged the people in New Zealand to speak up for restoration by the Indian government of the basic rights of people of Kashmir. He reiterated that Government of Pakistan would continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir till

realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. A video clip on Kashmir situation was also shown.

The High Commissioner also spoke on the topic of “Iqbal and Kashmir movement”. He informed that Iqbal was also the ‘spiritual father’ of Kashmir freedom movement like that of Pakistan. He strongly believed that destiny of Kashmir was closed linked with destiny of other Muslims of North India. Iqbal was not only a visionary or inspired Kashmiris through his poetry and philosophy but also served as a political activist.

At the end the High Commissioner presented a vote of thanks to Bob Rigg and other speakers, as well as Pakistani Community to organize a wonderful event dealing with three topics, which are close to heart of every Pakistani

Wellington 9 November 2019

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