World role for Kashmir solution stressed
MIRPUR [AJK]-AJK President Masood Khan urged the world powers to help end the massive human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir by finding a lasting solution to the simmering Kashmir issue.
The AJK president expressed these while addressing a forum organised by the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday. The Atlantic Council is one of the United States’ premier think tanks. The president said that there can be no peace in South Asia without early solution to the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.
To a question, Masood demanded that the international community step forward to stop crimes against humanity in Indian occupied Kashmir.
He invited the United States to play the role of a facilitator by bringing all the relevant parties to the peace table. Right now, he said, the reality was that there was total non-engagement between the parties to the dispute and unbridled repression by Indian occupation forces in the territory.
For the Kashmiris, Masood said, Pakistan was the only “sovereign window” to the international community. While thanking Pakistan for its staunch diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris, the AJK president said that Kashmiris from both the sides – Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir – are also taking their narrative directly to the international community.
He said the Kashmiris are waging a political struggle to win freedom from India’s illegitimate rule. India, the president said, was not only killing, torturing and maiming ordinary Kashmiris, but also propagating a false narrative about their struggle by equating it with terrorism. Kashmiris do not want to be a flashpoint between Pakistan and India but a symbol of connectivity and cooperation, he added.
“Kashmiris should not be treated as aliens in their homeland. It is their territory and they would decide their political future and the destiny of their state,” President Masood Khan said. He underlined that there were three parties to the dispute – Pakistan, India and Kashmiris while the Kashmiris were the key stakeholders. He criticised India for trying to exclude Kashmiris from discussions on the Kashmir dispute. “Discussing Kashmiris without the presence of Kashmiris was the biggest oxymoron ever,” the president said.
To a series of questions, the president said India, not Pakistan, was responsible for the non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions. According to Resolution 98 of December 23, 1952, both India and Pakistan are required to proportionately reduce their troops simultaneously. But India had declined to fulfill its international obligation and, instead, propped up a dubious constituent assembly to hold rigged elections, thereby violating the UN Security Council resolutions, he said. He expressed serious concerns about the rise of Hindu extremism in India. He said that Hindutva-inspired fundamentalism was more sinister than terrorists. The event was attended by South Asia specialists from Washington’s think tank community and members of the Kashmiri Diaspora.