MIRPUR (AJK) - AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said that the Turkish people and their government have openly supported and recognised the people of Kashmir’s right to self-determination at all international forums.

The president made these remarks while interacting with a Turkish delegation led by Mr Ali Kurt, Secretary General of the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW), on Thursday. The meeting was also attended by UNIW Coordinator Abdul Hamit Erten, Member AJK Legislative Assembly Abdul Rasheed Turabi, Conveners of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Ghulam Muhammad Safi and Faiz Naqshbandi.

The president on the occasion welcomed the visiting delegates to Pakistan. He said Pakistan and Turkey enjoy strong and cordial diplomatic relations which have been forged through the close affiliation of the people of both countries. This historical relationship, he said, transcends conventional economic, political and strategic ties and is based on a deep emotional attachment between the people.

Masood commended the resolute and passionate stance of the Turkish people and government regarding the Kashmir conflict. He said Turkey has always considered this issue as their own and have advocated it as an international conflict. He added that Turkey has passionately pursued the issue along with Pakistan at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Contact Group on Kashmir, the United Nations and other regional summits.

He thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for showing his support to the Kashmir issue during his historic address to Joint Session of the Parliament of Pakistan and taking up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former’s visit to India. He praised President Erdogan for offering his good offices and mediation for the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Like Pakistan, Turkey has always endorsed an amicable resolution to the Kashmir conflict through the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions. “We believe that a peaceful, democratic and sustainable solution lies in the UNSC Resolutions and allowing the people of Kashmir in exercising their right to self-determination”, he said.

India, he said, had unleashed a reign of unimaginable terror in Indian Occupied Kashmir by openly torturing, killing and incarcerating the Kashmiri people. He said India wants to subdue the peaceful struggle by using force and state terrorism while the people of IOK have been the biggest victim of an occupying force. “India will never succeed, and our freedom struggle will continue till Jammu and Kashmir is liberated from Indian occupation,” he said.

Mr Ali Kurt reiterated his government’s’ support to the Kashmir cause and said that as Muslims it is our duty to fight for human dignity and unite the Muslim Ummah in fighting the evils creating chaos throughout the world. He said UNIW, is a project established for ensuring sustainable development, unity, coordination, among the NGOs of the Islamic world, to contribute to the emergence of an environment of the justice, peace, and stability all around the world helping protect the rights and liberties of individuals and societies.

The AJK president admired the sincere efforts of UNIW and affirmed his support to the noble cause. He said that Turkey has always been at the forefront of uniting the Muslim Ummah. On behalf of the people and Government of Azad Kashmir, the president extended his gratitude to Turkey for the massive reconstruction and aid provided in Bagh, Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot after the 2005 devastating earthquake.