WASHINGTON - Noting the breakthrough between the United States and nuclear-capable North Korea to avert confrontation, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has expressed the hope the Kashmir dispute would find a political solution to ensure lasting stability in South Asia.

Speaking at a day-long event of the Pakistani American Congress here at the Capitol Hill, the AJK President also called on the US and Pakistan to resolve their periodic differences and use their history of cooperation spanned over 70 years to find ways of working together for common goals.

The President was the chief guest at the event organised by Pakistani American Congress (PAC) to commemorate the 27th Annual Pakistan-US Friendship Day at the US Capitol Hill, Washington DC.

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and a number of US Congressmen also attended and addressed the event.

Masood Khan said that Pakistan and the United States had been great allies in the past and they must strive once again to bring their relationship back on track.

He recalled that the partnership of the two countries during the Cold War, Afghan War in the 1980s and the War against Terrorism has left a rich legacy of cooperation and collaboration.

“That must not be lost”, he said ,adding, that Pakistan-US relationship was much more than differences on security situation in Afghanistan.

He advised both sides to work towards containing periodic turbulence in the relationship and build on the decades old convergences in economic, educational, scientific, technological and cultural affairs.

Referring to the recent positive momentum generated in the Korean Peninsula, the AJK President said that Kashmiris were encouraged by the  a rapprochement between North Korea and South Korea and the United States and North Korea who were energetically reaching out to each other to explore ways to pursue the path of engagement rather than confrontation.

“The Kashmir issue is not intractable as some would try to give the impression”, he said, adding, that Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Kashmir had resolved to continue the peaceful freedom struggle until they secure their right to self-determination.

He expressed the hope that the Kashmir dispute would yield to a diplomatic solution in the near future provided there was political will to resolve it by involving all parties to the dispute as well as the United Nations.

He stated that the US should understand the plight and struggle of the Kashmiris because the US too had won its independence through a long, fierce and arduous struggle.

Kashmiris and the people of Pakistan are seeking American attention and support for the resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir because of its historical ties with the region and its track record of trying to find a diplomatic solution to the problem in the past, he added.

Masood Khan drew the attention of the august gathering to the plight of the Kashmiri people and said that hundreds, mostly youth, have been killed in a renewed phase of struggle during the past two years at the hands of the Indian forces.

Indian troops were committing gross violation of human rights in the region and, according to international reports, nearly 1400 Kashmiris including children had lost their eye-sight completely or partially, he said.

The President said that Indian attempts to change demography in Held Kashmir were a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol I. International Humanitarian Law, ICC Statute, UN Security Council Resolutions and Human Rights Reports.

The President also presented a six-point formula for addressing this egregious human rights situation in Kashmir which included discussion by the Security Council on the Kashmir dispute, expansion of UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMIGOP) to report on security situation in the disputed territory and recognition of Kashmir as a dispute by India.

He said that India should withdraw bulk of its Armed Forces and repeal draconian laws forthwith that provided immunity to the Indian troops to commit human rights violations.

The President emphasised that Kashmir was a tripartite international issue involving “Kashmiris do not want Kashmir to become a flashpoint between nuclear armed Pakistan and India but want to project it as a symbol of connectivity and harmony for the whole of South Asia” .

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion commending the Pakistani Americans for playing key role in promoting cooperation and friendship between Pakistan and the US.

Other speakers at the event included Congressman, Tom Suozzi from New York, Congressman, Donald Norcross from New Jersey, Congressman Michael Coffman from Colorado and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson. Professor Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute, Thomas McDevitt, Chairman of Washington Times and Courtney Dunn and Deputy Director Pakistan Desk in the State Department.

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