India using chemical weapons in Held Kashmir: AJK president
MIRPUR – President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan on Sunday said that India must stop its human right violations and crimes against humanity in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Addressing a seminar on the occasion of International Human Rights Day organised by the Kashmir Liberation Cell, President said that implantation of non-Kashmiri settlers in settlements in Held Kashmir were a violation of Articles 27 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a grave breach of Additional Protocol I.
He said that India’s construction of illegal settlements for Kashmiri pundits and former Army personnel in order to transform the demography of Jammu and Kashmir were a clear violation of international laws and conventions.
The President said that the tale of Kashmir was a tragedy and was the gravest human rights issue facing the world today.
The planned massacre of Kashmiris at the hands of the Indian forces was synonymous to a genocide and was tantamount to war crimes, he said, adding, that Kashmiris had been made homeless in their native land.
“The word ‘violations’ is a euphuism considering the horrendous war crimes being carried out in Held Kashmir”, said Masood.
Masood Khan pointed out that India had been using chemical weapons in Held Kashmir and evidence in this regard had come forward of its use on the populations of Anantnag and Pulwama.
The suffering of Kashmiris is not an event of yesteryear but the barbarity continues to this day, he said.
The President commended the efforts of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Cell and the Kashmir Media Services for helping document the atrocities and violations committed in Held Kashmir.
He said that “We need to regularly update the data and ultimately use it in enlightening the international organisations of horrendous war crimes taking place in Held Kashmir.”
The President said that in near future effective steps would be taken to include the Kashmir issue in the syllabi of schools and universities to enable the younger generations to better understand the conflict.
Masood Khan said that India had taken up a three pronged war against Pakistan; firstly, by killing our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in Held Kashmir; secondly, cross border shelling on civilian population in AJK; and thirdly, engaging in a proxy war by carrying out acts of terrorism in various territories of Pakistan.
This year alone, he said, India has committed over 1550 cross border violations killing over 60 civilians and injuring hundreds of others in Azad Kashmir.
President Masood Khan said that through 5000 village committees comprising 30,000 armed RSS sponsored goons, India is terrorising local population of Held Kashmir and forcing them to vacate their homes and properties.
The President added that the Muslims, especially the Gujjar population in Jammu-numbering around one million-are the main victims of the genocide, forced disappearances and evacuations carried out by Indian forces.
Lamenting the dual standards of International Community, the President said that the world has intervened when it came to East Timur, South Sudan and Yemen; but have yet to take a significant and concrete stance on Kashmir due to various strategic, political and economic interests with India.
He said that “upholding the rights of every human being in accordance to UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the duty of every UN member nation and India must be brought to justice for the serious human right violations committed in Held Kashmir.”
The President said that people of Kashmir were the most unarmed people and were not involved in any sort of terrorism.
Their unarmed struggle, he added, for their right to self-determination has been demonised by India as an act of terrorism.
The President said that the people of Kashmir have sacrificed their lives not to maintain the status quo but to attain their freedom through the exercise of their right to self-determination.
Masood Khan said that India was trying to create ill will and driving a wedge between the people of Kashmir and Pakistan by trying to diplomatically and politically demonising the latter.
He said that “A symbiotic relationship exists between the people of Pakistan and Kashmir which cannot be weakened through any machinations”.
Masood said that we should be unified among our ranks, use modern and conventional media, make inroads into the international and Indian civil societies and leverage the strengths of the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora helping us approach various international forums and Parliaments in order to raise the profile of this crucial issue.
He said that Pakistan is our only consul and we must make every effort to strengthen Pakistan and in turn strengthening the freedom struggle in Held Kashmir.
Masood Khan said that as a nation we have to prosperous through upholding merit, focus on economic growth and guarantee the protection of our citizens.
The world must know that this conflict is not of a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India, as people of Kashmir are the main stakeholders and will decide their political destiny in light of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, he said.
He urged the UN to implement its resolutions and the UN Secretary General must use his good office to mediate a peaceful, just and democratic solution to the human rights crisis in Held Kashmir.
The President said that the world must realise that Kashmiris are not begging for their freedom but are struggling for freedom as their fundamental right and in this regard they would keep reminding the international community to fulfill their responsibility.
The President sent a clear message to India stating that their efforts of sabotaging the freedom struggle will never succeed and the people of Kashmir will never bow down nor will the freedom struggle be subdued through India’s use of force.
The people of Kashmir, he said, have made a solemn vow to continue their struggle and will attain their freedom at any cost.