MIRPUR (AJK) - Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan declared that the ongoing freedom struggle in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is indigenous, “dispelling the propaganda that it is being externally sponsored.”

AJK President Masood Khan was speaking at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, said a press communiqué issued here the other night.

Pakistan, the AJK president said, is extending moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiri people to help them achieve their right to self-determination in pursuance of the UN Security Council resolution. “It is the obligation of the people of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan to demand end to massive human rights violations of Kashmiris and campaign for a political solution of the Kashmir dispute,” he emphasised.

Mr Masood Khan said that the so-called “material support” was not germane to the existing conditions because of heavy fencing along the Line of Control by India, fortified by landmines, thermal imaging, motion sensors and overall aggressive electronic surveillance. “By the Indian security officials’ own accounts, cross-LOC movement is not possible and the number of armed militants inside Kashmir is very small,” he cited. The AJK president said that it is the vast sea of unarmed Kashmiris that the Indian soldiers (700,000 of them) are targeting to punish them for demanding their rights.

President Masood Khan said that the stark realities in IOK are absence of peace tables, a raging human rights crisis, and the flame of freedom burning brighter than ever.

Indian soldiers, the AJK President said, are being forced to fight a dirty war against innocent civilians in Kashmir. “Hundreds have been killed, thousands blinded, thousands injured, houses and schools torched and vandalised as punitive measures against those demanding self-determination”, he regretted.

Crimes against humanity being committed in Kashmir, President Masood Khan demanded, must come to an end and there should be independent international investigation into these crimes.

The international community, he said, should shun double standards and play its role in protecting the rights of the Kashmiris being brutalised in IOK. “Just politics, not real politick is the way forward”, he said.  Sardar Masood Khan said that South Asia would not become stable until the Kashmir dispute is resolved peacefully through dialogue in accordance with the UN resolutions. “South Asia is volatile and will remain prone to volatility until the core issue is settled peacefully”, he pointed out.

The AJK President said that Azad Kashmir is a peaceful state focused on economic development and good governance. He invited British scholars and human rights activists to come to Azad Kashmir to see for themselves how Azad Kashmir is trying to build modern communications, energy, industrial, educational, health and tourism infrastructure.

Our Staff reporter