Situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir remains extremely grave and Indian government’s portrayal of normalcy is an eye-wash: High Commissioner

Islamabad, December 04, 2019 (PPI-OT): The situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir remains extremely grave and the Indian government’s portrayal of normalcy is an eye-wash”, said High Commissioner, Raza Bashir Tarar, while addressing Jinnah Award Ceremony organized by the Jinnah Society of North America at Winnipeg, Manitoba. The High Commissioner said that the Modi government is propelling the extremist “Hindutva” ideology and there are concerted efforts to settle people from outside in order to change demographics of the region, which is a clear violation of the international law.

Pakistan remains steadfast in stressing that self-determination is an inalienable right of the people of Kashmir, he added. Paying tribute to the leadership of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, High Commissioner said he overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to carve out the independent state of Pakistan, where Muslims of the sub-continent could lead their lives according to their own religion and cultural values. At the same time, the Quaid made it clear that minorities in Pakistan would be afforded equal opportunities and protection, he highlighted. High Commissioner Tarar informed that the Government of Pakistan led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is focusing on harnessing the potential of our expatriates and taking several initiatives to improve the economy of the country.

The political leadership of Pakistan is focused on strengthening governance; accountability and transparency; and is striving hard to achieve poverty alleviation, he said. “The Government is also very serious to improve tourism industry in the country, a great potential which has not been fully exploited so far and religious tourism is being given great attention”, he added. While referring to the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor, he said that it is a very positive and commendable development to promote inter-religious harmony and a large number of Canadian Sikhs attended the ceremonies. High Commissioner expressed the confidence that Community will continue to introduce our rich and diverse cultural values to Canadians and to promote mutual understanding and goodwill.

“Over half a million Canadians of Pakistani origin are a strong bridge between the two countries and can play a pivotal role in further cementing the existing bonds of friendship, economic interaction, trade and development cooperation including in health and education sectors”, he concluded. Terry Duguid and Kerry Lamoureux, Members of Canadian Parliament also attended the Jinnah Awards ceremony.

In their separate meeting with the High Commissioner, they discussed issues of mutual interest to both the countries and expressed the desire to further enhance cooperation during the new Liberal Government in Canada. Sikh Community leaders of Manitoba province also attended the Jinnah Award ceremony and appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to provide visa-free access to Gurdwara Dera Sahib for Sikh pilgrims. They presented an award to the High Commissioner for the Prime Minister of Pakistan for his dedication towards religious minorities.

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