MIRPUR (AJK)-Italian lawmakers expressed their deep concern over the human right violations in the Indian Held Kahsmir, and stressed early end to the Indian brutalities in the valley.

During the AJK president’s visit to Itally, they said that they would like to see an end to the brutal repression. They said that the Kashmir dispute must be resolved in a just and lasting manner in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and the UN Security Council resolutions.

On the occasion, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan strongly condemned the killing of six civilians in Shopian by Indian forces, and subsequent lockdowns and crackdowns in Held Kashmir.

Speaking on the recent killings taking place in IOK, the president said, "Six young civilians were gunned down in cold blood and now they are being called militants. India has flouted international humanitarian laws applicable in the conflict situations which prohibit the killing of non-combatants. India has once again committed a heinous war crime."

The president made these remarks during his two-day official visit to Italy while addressing various events in the Italian cities of Brescia, Bergamo, and Cremona organised by the Pakistani-Kashmiri community based in the administrative region of Lombardy.

President Masood said that India's draconian black laws - the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act - empower occupation forces to commit such war crimes with impunity. India, the President said, must be held accountable by the UN Security Council, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Human Rights Council for the war crimes.

The president said that India by using unbridled brute force had denied the unarmed innocent Kashmiris their right to self-defence and instead demonised their indigenous freedom struggle as acts of terrorism and labelling the defence-less protestors as terrorists.

“There was no terrorism in IOK”, the president said, "The Kashmiris are the most unarmed populace on the face of the earth and are leading a peaceful unarmed struggle for their right to self-determination which had been guaranteed under the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The only terrorism in IOK is the state terrorism under the patronage of Delhi."

He said that IOK is the most heavily militarised territory in the world with over 700,000 actively deployed Indian army personnel. The Indian forces are openly torturing the local population in IOK by murdering peaceful Kashmiris, harassing the Hurriyat leadership, using lethal pellet guns, transforming the demography of Muslim populated areas, illegally incarcerating innocent protestors and dishonouring womenfolk, he detailed.

During his interaction at the community events, the president complimented the Pakistani-Kashmiri community-based in Italy for their commitment and resolute struggle for the cause of Kashmir especially commending their efforts in closing their ranks and forging unity.

He urged the community members to send letters and other communications to their local representatives, the Italian Parliament and Parliamentarians regarding the human rights situation in the Occupied Kashmir. He further said that the Italian members of the European Parliament must be requested to raise the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and highlight the gross human right violations taking place in IOK at the European Parliament and other European Union institutions.

He said, “We must utilise all communication resources including the social media in raising the profile of this issue at the UN and other international forums.” Lauding the successes of the Pakistan-Kashmir diaspora community, he urged them to continue working for a stronger and prosperous Pakistan because only strong Pakistan can guarantee the realisation of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He thanked the people and Government of Pakistan for their continued moral, political and diplomatic support for the Kashmiris.

He condemned India's incessant violations of the line of control (LoC) resulting in deaths and serious injuries of civilians, as well as the destruction of properties and livestock. He said that targeting unarmed combatants is a violation of international conventions and laws. "These violations must end, and India should display restraint and abide by the 2003 Ceasefire Agreement," he said.

Paying tributes to the valiant civilians living along the LoC, the president assured his audience that the issues concerning compensation to the people living near the LoC and relocation of some of the population exposed to extremely dangerous zones are being addressed.

He apprised the community members of the initiatives being taken for the economic development of Azad Kashmir and completion of the projects for the welfare of the people. He highlighted that various projects in infrastructure, energy production, health, education, tourism, industry and municipal services were in various stages of implementation and completion.

The president said that AJK is passing through a new phase of economic development as it is now a formal part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He added that 4 projects under CPEC have been earmarked for AJK which include 2 hydropower projects, a specialized industrial zone in Mirpur and an expressway - Mansehra to Mirpur - connecting all districts of AJK to the CPEC main route. There is also a huge potential for local and foreign investment in the extractive and tourism industry of AJK, he said.

Masood also visited the Provincial Assembly at Cremona and met a delegation of lawmakers led by Rosita Viola. He held a separate meeting with Senator Paolo Bodini from the region. Later in the day, the president was received by the Mr Emilio Del Bono, Mayor of Brescia at his office.

In his exchange of views with the Italian lawmakers and other interlocutors, the president said that Pakistan and Italy enjoyed excellent relations and work closely on various issues at the United Nations. The members of the Pakistan-Kashmir community in Italy, he said, are acting as ambassadors of Pakistan and Italy building and strengthening diplomatic and social bridges between the two countries.

He thanked them for giving the necessary political space to the Kashmiris and Pakistanis living in Italy to peacefully protest against the Indian atrocities and human right violations. He said it speaks highly of the tolerance in the Italian society and their concern for protecting human dignity and rights.

During the visit, various delegations consisting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz representatives and office-bearers called on the president. He addressed various gatherings organised by the PML-N workers.

Counsel General of Pakistan in Milan Nadeem Khan on the occasion held a luncheon which was attended by prominent members of the Pakistani-Kashmiri community.