MIRPUR [AJK]-AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has expressed his deep concern over the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IHK).

He said that the step would lead to an exponential increase in human right violations in the occupied territory. He observed that imposition of Governor’s Rule in IOK for the eighth time in four decades is evidence of India’s failed Kashmir policy.

Masood Khan was talking to Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, AJK Senior Minister for Physical Planning & Housing, Agriculture & Livestock who called on him at the Jammu and Kashmir House Thursday.

During the meeting, both the leaders discussed the progress relating to numerous projects specifically the upgradation and construction of roads in Azad Kashmir. The President emphasised the timely completion of all such projects according to international construction standards helping facilitate the people at large living in AJK.

Denouncing the killings of three Kashmiri youth during the recent so-called “cordon and search” operations in Pulwama, the AJK President said that such barbaric acts will in no way dampen the just freedom struggle of the Kashmiris. “Sustainable peace in the region will only be possible through the implementation of UN Security Council’s Resolutions and not through Delhi’s use of brute force in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Both the President and the Senior Minister welcomed the recent reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the British Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) on the abysmal human rights situation in IOK.

Masood said that the reports have clearly pointed out that under the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), Indian forces have violated all international norms and conventions by granting Indian security forces ‘discretionary powers to kill, use force and detain the youth without fear of prosecution’ and death, rape of women during search operations, and extrajudicial executions of unarmed civilians have become a routine affair in IOK. They demanded that unconditional access be granted to international investigators by Indian authorities to assess the situation on-ground.

Meanwhile, AJK President met Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Federal Minister for Finance, Planning and Development, at her office and congratulated her on assuming the new position.

The President raised with the Finance Minister issues related to the infrastructure development of the Muzaffarabad and Neelum campuses of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir University, Muzaffarabad. The Finance Minister assured the President that the interim government would be supportive of the ongoing projects and proposals in regard to the infrastructure development of the public sector universities in AJK.

He said that in the past one year the development budget for Azad Jammu Kashmir had been more than doubled and was now being utilized with vigour and precision for economic development of the state, as well as the welfare of the people.

He also sought the help of the Finance Minister in addressing the residual matters relating to resource constraints being faced by the AJK Government and underlined that most of the support needed was for mandatory payments.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar said that the interim government was taking all necessary measures to ensure macroeconomic stability of Pakistan and keep the economy on track for growth and development.