ISLAMABAD - President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan Wednesday said that the Kashmiris want their freedom and right to self-determination and they are determined and will not bow in front of India’s aggression.

The new world order has evolved from the traditional Westphalian system to the League of Nations and then the United Nations, he made these remarks while addressing the Margalla Dialogue 2019 organised by the Islamabad Policy and Research Institute on “Peace and Development in South Asia, Middle East, Central Asia”.

The sad reality, he said, is that the rising trend is ‘exceptional-ism’ or ‘exemption-ism’ for big powers. He said powerful countries go scot-free even if they commit major crimes; an example being India. The world has lost its ‘rule-based’ character, he said.

The President said that there are some fundamental postulates for conflict resolutions. This, he said, firstly includes recognizing that there is a conflict by the parties directly involved; secondly, if one or more parties don’t recognize then third party countries or the UN; thirdly, at least the United Nations must accept and recognize that there is a conflict that needs to be resolved, and lastly, he said that there should be accepted and recognized regimes for conflict resolutions.

AJK president says the world has lost its ‘rule-based’ character

In this context, the AJK President informed his audience that in the case of India and Pakistan, the bilateral regime – Simla Agreement, the Composite Dialogues – has broken and the nuclear deterrence acquired by the two nations has made the resolution of the Kashmir dispute intractable. This has left us to reach out to our own constituencies, the international community, global civil society, international political parties and parliaments, he said.

President Masood Khan said that post-1945; the west had a universalistic agenda that was thought to be the best. Right now, the situation has changed and the citadels of the new world order have a parochial agenda.

Lamenting the eerie silence of global powers, the AJK President said that India has taken a series of steps on August 5 by annexing, bifurcating and colonizing the disputed territory of IOK.

They are also hell-bent on changing the religious character of the territory. India’s Hindutva policy is not limited to Kashmir but instead, they disenfranchised 1.9 million Muslims in Assam and in recent days the Indian Supreme Court in a highly controversial and prejudiced verdict has decided to build a Ram Temple on the demolished site of the Babri Mosque, he said.

“India will continue such steps and adopt further similar measures. Make no mistake about that!” said Masood Khan.

The President went on to say that other than the 200 million Muslims in India who are being threatened by the Indian government, they have also threatened to ‘take back’ AJK and use nuclear weapons against Pakistan. This drift towards war has to be avoided and India should not be appeased by the international community. A war between Pakistan and India will lead to a war that could very well spiral into a nuclear exchange with dire consequences. This appeasement, he said, was symptomatic of the malaise of the existing world order.

The AJK President said that we cannot lose any more time. As we talk about warfare, India has been using this strategy since long, as evident from the FATF, the Security Council, the 1267 Committee and the conditions that India encourages financial institutions to attach to the economic bailouts given to Pakistan.

Kashmiris, he said, have already given sacrifices of 500,000 lives and have been in one way or the other struggling for their freedom for 200 years.

He went on to say that Kashmiris have not given these sacrifices only for the lifting of curfew or bringing an end to the communication blockade.

“The unarmed and peaceful Kashmiris are being pushed to the wall and the seething anger brewing in the young Kashmiris may lead to armed resistance for defending themselves”, he said.

The President said that we will continue our international outreach to multilateral organisations, international media, civil society, world parliaments and consolidate support for the new narrative emerging on Kashmir. With the exception of the UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights the conduct of the UN SC and the UN General Assembly has been highly disappointing, he said.

The UN SC must continue to intervene to stem genocide and to save the region from the scourge of war. Diplomatic processes in any form over Kashmir are not being supported by India, he said.

He said that this dispute needs to be resolved and three steps of conflict resolution – peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding – are all missing when it comes to this Kashmir.