Kashmir dispute can be resolved diplomatically, not militarily, Muhammet Balta says.
The Kashmir dispute, one of the longest lasting conflicts in the world, is continuing due to Indian oppression through its military presence in the region, a Turkish parliamentarian said Thursday.
Speaking at a conference in Istanbul Thursday to mark the 69th anniversary of the Kashmir dispute, the Turkey-Pakistan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman, Muhammet Balta, accused India of “extreme” human rights violations through the use of disproportionate force in Indian-held Kashmir.
Balta, who is also Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker, said the Kashmir dispute must be resolved peacefully under the auspices of the UN, recalling the fact that the UN’s 1947 and 1948 resolutions could not be implemented because of “India’s rejectionist attitude”.
He highlighted that the Kashmir dispute could only be resolved diplomatically, not militarily.
“The most equitable way to resolve the Kashmir dispute is giving an ear to Kashmiris’ preferences,” he said, adding that Turkey would always continue to support all efforts for peace.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood spoke of the need for an “urgent action” to stop the human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir.
Mahmood accused Indian security forces of killing over 94,000 Kashmiris and raping and assaulting more than 10,000 women since 1989.
“India has imposed a total media blackout in the region, and there is no cable TV, internet or mobile service functional there,” he said, adding that doctors and medical staff had been deliberately harassed, while Kashmiri political leaders were arrested.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full, as the two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947.
Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups have been fighting in Indian-held Kashmir against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
By Ilker Girit