ISLAMABAD - Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Khan Afridi on Tuesday warned that Indian colonial designs and occupational and expansionist agenda was a major threat to regional and global peace and development. 

Addressing a seminar hosted by World Kashmir Forum, Shehryar Afridi said the people of Jammu and Kashmir would decide through a free and transparent plebiscite whether they wanted to live with Pakistan or India. 

Referring to the statement of the United Kingdom military chief Gen Sir Nick Carter that the threat of 3rd World War was real, Afridi said: “Pakistan and India may head to a nuclear war if Kashmir dispute is not amicably resolved.”

“The UN and the world need to immediately take practical steps to resolve Kashmir dispute to help avoid a nuclear war in the region where three nuclear neighbours - Pakistan, India and China - are involved in border disputes,” he said. 

Afridi said Pakistan and India had fought three wars beside two limited wars on Kashmir. “China and India are locked in another border dispute in Kashmir. Threat of a nuclear war is real now,” he said. 

He said Indian occupational regime in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) was so fearful that it had put restrictions on the elections of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, asking it to first submit explanation over its constitution which states that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. 

“But such tactics would fail as the people of Jammu and Kashmir have decided to offer any sacrifice required for freedom from Indian occupation,” said the chairman of Kashmir Committee.

Shehryar Afridi said that the Hindutva regime of India “did not learn anything from the history of Kashmir as the Indian Prime Minister with fake degree has no knowledge of history and law.” 

Neither Kashmiri people nor Pakistan took Kashmir dispute to the UNSC. Rather it was Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who took the Kashmir dispute to the UNSC and begged for its intervention and hold plebiscite, he said.

There are at least 20 UN resolutions which call for holding referendum in Jammu and Kashmir region to decide its political fate but India has been delaying the process.

Afridi said the Indian occupational forces were “committing worst war crimes” in IIOJK. “Hindutva regime is putting extreme media gags to suppress the voices of media but brave Kashmiri journalists are writing new chapter of resistance in the history of Jammu and Kashmir,” asserted Afridi.

He called upon the UN experts on human rights and freedom of expression to make an immediate intervention into the Indian government’s illegal transfer of 2.4 lakh kanals of land in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to industries and commerce divisions of India.

“All Indian actions in IIOJK are illegal and in blatant violation of the United Nations resolutions on the Kashmir dispute and are aimed at genocide of Kashmiris,” he said. 

Afridi urged the UN experts to take note of the unabated raids of National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India on offices and residences of human rights defenders, journalists and members of civil society, humanitarian aid organisations operating in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“Hindutva regime of India wants to cover up the ongoing genocide in Kashmir by gagging the voices of media and human rights organisations. Amnesty India was forced to shut down its operations in India last month. Amnesty International also has condemned the Indian government’s ongoing campaign against human rights organisations and the media,” he said. 

Shehryar Afridi said Narendra Modi government must understand that the “truth cannot be hidden by such raids and atmosphere of fear”. RSS goons and Modi administration cannot fool the world on Kashmiri genocide. We will continue to expose the inhuman actions of the colonial rulers in Kashmir. The world must break its criminal silence and give freedom to Kashmiris.”

“We pay tribute to our heroes. Our heroes are performing significant tasks in every field. My salutes to the doctors, paramedical staff and the Armed Forces who have been instrumental in defeating the coronavirus pandemic under the vision and strategy of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Afridi said in his concluding remarks.

Speaking on the occasion, President Azad Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan said that Islamic renaissance could only save Muslims in Southeast Asia. 

Giving a graphic picture of occupied Kashmir, Sardar Masood questioned what would happen if a brutal force comprising 900,000 men invades any city of Pakistan. 

He said there was disequilibrium in policies of India and Pakistan on Kashmir as India had invaded the Jammu and Kashmir utilising all in all facets of manoeuvring. 

He suggested a diplomatic and economic war by Pakistan and Pakistanis against India. The AJK President said that it’s high time that concerted efforts were made using all communication sectors to highlight the sufferings of Kashmiris and the brutalities of Indian occupied forces in held Kashmir. 

WKF Chairman Haji Mohammad Rafiq Pardesi said that plight of Kashmiris were giving us sleepless nights and called for responsible and prudent steps to end miseries of Kashmiris. 

Pardesi condemned Modi’s illegal actions in Kashmir, saying he was rightly called the “Butcher of Gujarat.” The WKF chairman urged the masses to duly sign the WKF petition they were preparing to present to the UN Security Council. 

Former federal secretary and WKF Vice-Chairman Kunwar M Dilshad said that voice of Kashmiris could not be suppressed and it would be underlined across the world under PM Imran. He praised WKF and especially Haji Mohammad Rafiq Pardesi for holding the significant event. 

Chairperson Jammu and Kashmir Solidarity Movement and Pak-Kashmir Women Alliance Uzma Gul regretfully remarked that in 15 months of siege around 11,000 Kashmiris had been martyred or mutilated by occupying Indian forces. 

Gul emphasized for more and pragmatic diplomatic efforts and proactive role of Kashmiri diaspora, saying the Independent Kashmir stance would damage the main cause. 

Ex-ambassador and analyst Javed Hafiz said that Maharaja Hari Singh signed accession instrument when he was not in control of the Kashmir state so it no longer belonged to him but Kashmiri people. 

Lt Gen (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi said that peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue was related to lasting peace in the region. “Global peace would suffer if this crisis is not dealt with deserving attention by the world powers.” 

Former High Commissioner Abdul Basit in his address regretted the silence of world community over cries and miseries of Kashmiris. He felt that cul-de-sac has been reached on this long-lingering issue. 

WKF Secretary General and former Attorney General of Pakistan Justice (Retd) Anwar Mansoor Khan highlighted legal and justified stance of Pakistan on Kashmir issue. He underlined breach of peace in August 2019 by India on ‘administered’ Kashmir. 

He said India had violated all bilateral agreements and international conventions on Kashmir issue, but Pakistan wanted peace and not war, resolving the conflict peacefully. 

Noted guests were presented Kashmiri shawls by WKF Chairman Haji Mohammad Rafiq Pardesi.