MIRPUR (AJK) - AJK State President Sardar Masood Khan said on Monday that the United Nations acknowledged the just right to self-determination of the Jammu & Kashmir people and the struggle will continue till Kashmiris are free from the shackles of the Indian occupation.

The President made these remarks while addressing a seminar on the "Students role in achieving the Kashmiris Right to Self-Determination" hosted by the Kashmir Student Federation the Federal Urdu University on Monday.

President Azad Kashmir said that India claims that Kashmir is a forgotten issue but even today Kashmiris are sacrificing their lives and paying for their freedom with their own blood. The Indian government, he said, has demonized the struggle of the innocent Kashmiris as act of terrorism and is playing the victim card.

The President asserted that India is attempting to remove Kashmiris from the equation. He added that they are an integral part of the issue and only they can decide their political destiny.

The AJK president said that India is propagating a false narrative by claiming the matter as a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India. This, he said, is a negation of the UN resolutions which clearly state that the Kashmiris have the right to a free a fair plebiscite to practice their right to self-determination.

Masood Khan said that after the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, India unleashed brutal force upon the Kashmiris and openly murdered Kashmiris, maimed thousands of protestors with pellet guns, dishonored the women folk and have used malicious tactics to transform the demography of Muslim populated areas.

Addressing the participants, the President said the people and leadership of Jammu and Kashmir had made a conscious decision to accede to Pakistan on 19thJuly 1949. He said it was our duty to fulfill the aspirations of our leadership and its people by continuing our efforts for the just resolution of this issue. "We will not compromise on our just right to self-determination", he said.

India along with the Dogra forces and RSS extremists had massacres over 237,000 unarmed Kashmiris and forced another 250,000 Kashmiris to migrate out of Jammu and Kashmir, said the President. He added that this was the first instance of ethnic genocide post World War II.

The President said that India has stationed over 700,000 armed military personnel in IOK, which is the largest concentration of occupation army in a disputed area. India is using brutality and enticing economic deals to subdue the freedom struggle but this is no way has dampened the spirits of the Kashmiris whose only demand is freedom from the occupation forces.

President AJK said that in a recent article, Palaniappan Chidambaram, Member of Rajya Sabha, has admitted the use of the hard muscular position of the BJP in restraining the Kashmiris will never lead to a political solution. Chidambaram argued that we must no longer deny that the core issue between Pakistan and India is Kashmir and is the main reason for the current unrest and so-called militancy. Chidambaram has conceded that the only solution to the issue is the withdrawal of Indian Army and para-military forces from IOK and taking all stakeholders onboard for the amicable resolution of this issue.

Highlighting the development initiatives taking place in AJK, President Masood Khan said that Azad Kashmir is going through a new phase of economic revolution and we aspire to become the next economic engine of Pakistan. He said that the AJK Government is focusing on infrastructure development, education, tourism, industrial growth, extractive industry, and agriculture. Under the CPEC, he said, four exclusive projects have been identified for AJK which include the Korat Hydro Power Project, Kohala Hydro Power Project, Mansehra-Mirpur Expressway and a state of the art Industrial Zone in Mirpur.

He said that today AJK boasts an 85% literacy rate and has scored the highest in educational scores like student retention, learning and gender parity. He further added that AJK now has five universities, three medical colleges and dozens of degree colleges. After achieving the quantitative figures, our government will focus on improving quality of education and we will introduce specialized disciplines to cater to the ever-changing job market, said the President.

The President said that the people of Pakistan and AJK will not fall victim to the Indian propaganda aimed at creating disunity among our ranks. By the grace of Allah, all our political parties are unified on the Kashmir issue and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kashmir. He said that Quaid-e-Azam had rightly claimed Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan as all our rivers flow through Kashmir. Today due to India's illegal occupation of IOK it has become the upper riparian and has threatened to 'dry up' Pakistan by diverting the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir.

The President reiterated that in today's world the youth are global citizens who have access to social media platforms and can positively advocate the Kashmir cause with their peers. He urged the students to thoroughly understand the Kashmir Issue and help raise its profile by engaging with international civil societies and constantly writing about the issue to influential world leaders and parliamentarians.

Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, Ghulam Muhammad Saffi, Faiz Naqshbandi, Abdul Hameed Lone, senior members of the APHC, University faculty and large number of students attended the seminar.