MIRPUR (AJK)-The AJK president stressed a need for more vibrant role of the Pakistani and Kashmiri expatriates and the world power like the United Nations for early settlement to the much-delayed Kashmir issue.

AJK President Sardar Masood Khan called upon them to lend all of their energy for highlighting the Kashmir cause to muster the maximum sympathies of the external world towards the early solution to the lingering conflict.

The president expressed these views while addressing a seminar titled ‘Role of Kashmiri Diaspora for Project of Kashmir Cause’ hosted by Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Cell with the collaboration of the state-run Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST) and the UK-based Jammu & Kashmir Self Determination Movement EU, at the main campus of the MUST.

The seminar was managed to interact with the visiting British parliamentary delegation consisting of MPs Yasmin Qureshi, Graham Jones, Faisal Rasheed and Mohammad Yasin, as well as Raja Najabat, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Self-determination Movement EU.

The speakers including the British MPs called for the early grant of right to self-determination to the people of Jammu & Kashmir in the line of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir issue. Eminent scholars, officials of the civil administration and the city elite were also present.

AJK President Masood Khan said that the role of Pakistani and Kashmiri Diaspora in highlighting the Kashmir cause in Britain and other western countries was always highly praiseworthy. He underlined that the Diaspora shall have to involve and persuade their UK-born young generation towards their existing and upcoming vibrant role to attract the international community including the western world of their due global responsibilities towards the early peaceful solution to Kashmir issue. The dispute, he emphasised, was key to the emergence of durable peace not only in the South Asian Region but the world over.

He continued that the Diaspora of Azad Jammu Kashmir and Pakistan can play a pivotal role in the economic development of their lands of origin and promote dialogue and harmony amongst civilisations. The president rejected the notion propagated by India that the Kashmir issue was a bilateral issue. The Kashmiri Diaspora, he said, had always given prominence to the international dimension of the dispute and urged their own governments and parliaments to ask the United Nations to follow its resolutions asking for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to let its people decide their own political future.

Sardar Masood Khan said that Kashmiris had given sacrifices in blood and resources for the past one century. India should know, he said, that they will not turn back until they attain their rights and freedom. He said that the Kashmiri Diaspora, who have grown in number all over the world, work closely with the Pakistanis and local communities in their countries of adoption.

Over the years, he said, Kashmiri Diaspora’s strengths had increased manifold, he said. “They are economically well off and they have gained political clout and traction. They are using their new space to highlight the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” the president said.

The AJK president commended the Kashmiris abroad for winning respect of the countries by hard work, professionalism and commitment to the values. Kashmiri Diaspora was well integrated but they were facing many challenges too including attempts by the Indian community to paint Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Muslims as terrorists and extremists, he said.

Kashmiris projected the true, moderate face of Muslims to the world and their narrative as the party directly affected had more credibility and acceptance, he said.

In the seminar, the vice chancellor called upon the peace and human rights-loving nations to perform their due global obligations to draw international attention to the massive human rights’ violations in the bleeding occupied Kashmir valley at the hands of the Indian occupational forces. The ugly situation of human rights in the occupied valley was resulting in the making of a major humanitarian crisis affecting the entire population of the ill-fated land, he said.

The VC said that it enjoined upon the world organisations and individuals to help resolve the already much-delayed Kashmir conflict without further loss of time.

“The Kashmir cause at this juncture needs maximum due projection. The grave human right violations in IOK must be projected to draw world attention,” he said and added that once international conscience moves to be awakened, India will have to address the problem by stopping the atrocities and undertaking negotiations.

He said, “We do acknowledge the contributions of Raja Najabat Hussain being Kashmiri and as Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Movement for Self-Determination, Europe. We are indebted to the UK and European Parliamentarians for continuously supporting the Kashmir cause; showing grave concerns for the atrocities committed against the Kashmiris and extending valuable support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their just struggle for freedom.”

The vice chancellor underlined that Pakistani civil society and people of the AJK and youth in particular were actively engaged in highlighting the Kashmiris struggle for freedom drawing the world attention to the barbarity of the occupying Indian security forces, the indifference and apathy of the puppet government of Indian occupied Kashmir.

He said that Kashmir issue needs due projection at international level to exert every possible diplomatic and moral pressure on the Indian government to address it without further loss of time. He said that the people of Jammu & Kashmir were struggling for 70 years now for their freedom from illegal Indian occupation. Their movement for the right of self-determination is never ending and they are determined to keep on struggling till their fundamental right is achieved.

They were subjected to unprecedented sufferings at the hands of Indian occupant forces; loss of over hundred thousand lives, illegal abduction, loss of businesses and worst kind of human rights violations. He said that the martyrdom of Burhan Muzaffar Wani has assumed the shape of a popular uprising that is growing by the day and is still progressing, likely to grow further and continue till the Kashmiris granted the right of self determination. The Kashmiris have been sacrificing their lives on daily basis, he said. Their struggle, the longest in the annals of the UN, seems to have entered into a new phase, he said.