ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said the situation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK) and Palestine is similar to Srebrenica Massacre in former Yugoslavia.
In a statement, the foreign minister noted that it has been 25 years since the Srebrenica Massacre in which over 8000 Bosnian Muslims were killed in the ethnic cleansing of over 200,000 people.
He said the world has a collective responsibility to ensure the history is not repeated, adding that situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir and in Palestine is “chillingly similar”.
The Srebrenica Massacre was one of the worst human rights atrocities in which over 8,000 Bosnia Muslims were killed by Serbs on 11th July, 1995. The killings were later classified as genocide.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) spent years investigating the massacre. The Bosnian Serb forces wanted to capture Srebrenica, which had been declared part of a UN safe zone in 1993.
After killing more than 8,000 people from July 13 through 17, the attackers disposed of their bodies in mass graves. Forensics specialists have since helped identify about 7,000 murdered Bosnians so far who been given proper burials.
The two key figures responsible for the Srebrenica massacre Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladic were finally caught in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres termed the Srebrenica genocide as the “worst atrocity crime on European soil since the Second World War.”
In a statement, the UN chief paid tribute to the thousands brutally murdered and pledged to never forget them. “We share the grief of their families, including those whose family members are still missing. And we re-affirm our solidarity with the survivors,” he said.
He called on everyone in the region and beyond to counter hate speech and the rhetoric of division and narratives of mistrust and fear. All communities, all leaders and all organizations — including the media — must make this pledge.
He said all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina deserve the unwavering commitment of their leaders to work towards an environment of mutual respect without discrimination, hatred or incitement to violence.
He reminded that peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still fragile and they let up in working towards genuine reconciliation fort the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide.