Islamabad: Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir said that the people of Kashmir despite all the difficulties and hurdles will attain their freedom from the illegal Indian occupation.
These remarks were made by the President in his exclusive address to the participants of the seminar on “Kashmir: Today and Tomorrow” at the Institute of Policy Studies here in Islamabad.
Sardar Masood Khan said that over the years Pakistan had achieved numerous success stories in the Kashmir dispute. The first major success, he said, was the gaining independence of the now Azad Kashmir territory form the Indian forces in 1947. Another triumph, he said, was the passing of the resolution on the Kashmir dispute by the United Nations for the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir and also the call for a plebiscite for the democratic resolution of the dispute.
The President said that on the diplomatic front Pakistan has successfully taken this issue to the OIC, which has passed numerous resolutions on this matter, fortifying the commitment of the Muslim Ummah in resolving the issue.
Masood Khan said that by falsely propagating the issue as a bi-lateral matter , India has moved this core issue to the back burners and in turn has hijacked any dialogue on this matter; firstly, by setting its own timelines and secondly dictating its own agenda for talks. He said, “Ironically, India now says that the very people of Kashmir and the UN are not a party to the dispute as it is now a bilateral matter. This approach of India defies common sense.” He said that unfortunately, no dialogue is taking place between Pakistan and India currently.
The President said that in the present day, the people of Kashmir have been made prisoners in their own homeland and are subjected to unimaginable torture, false incarcerations and forced evictions. “These human rights violations and war crimes must end immediately”, said President Masood Khan.
Reiterating his six point agenda the President said that firstly the people of Pakistan and Kashmir must show unity among their ranks on this matter. Secondly, the issue must at all costs be taken back to the UN Security Council and we must assert the implementation of the UN Resolutions already made on this dispute. Thirdly, we must leverage the strengths of our Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora by presenting this issue up for debate in the parliaments of the developed countries. Fourthly, he said, that a strong Pakistan is the only guarantor of a liberated Kashmir and therefore we should make every effort to strengthen our diplomatic, political, economic and defensive spheres. Fifthly, the President said that we should actively use traditional and modern communication tools to mitigate the Indian propaganda and false narrative. Finally, it is imperative that we make inroads in approaching the civil societies in other nations especially India in order to sensitize the common citizen of the atrocities taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Addressing a question form the participants, the President said that the Simla Agreement in no way bars Pakistan form approaching the international community over this matter and in turn also does not deny the intervention of UN in resolving this dispute.
The President said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had rightly called Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan which is evident by the fact that Kashmir is our main water shed, defensive bastion and now an economic corridor promising prosperity for Pakistan.
The President urged that the human rights violations and use of chemicals weapons are going unnoticed in IOK. The UN Human Right Council, OPCW and the International Committee Red Cross have to be approached and these violations need to be reported effectively.