ANKARA, 20 November 2019: President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, has reiterated the call on the international community to end the ongoing atrocities in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K), upholding the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiris in accordance with the UN resolutions.
President Sardar Masood Khan made these remarks as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the two-day international conference on Jammu & Kashmir conflict being jointly held by Lahore Center for Peace Research and Institute of Strategic Thinking in Ankara under the theme: “Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and Role of International Community.”
The inaugural session had high-level Turkish and international representation, including the Chief Justice of Turkish Supreme Court, Ismail Cirit; President Religious Affairs (Grand Mufti), Dr. Ali Erbas; Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Surreya Bilgic; Deputy Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Turkish Grand National Assembly; and Deputy Head of Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Erkan Akcay. Parliamentarians from Indonesia, Egypt and Iran were also present.
Message of the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Mustafa Sintop, was also read on the occasion.
Senator Sherry Rehman, Ambassador Shamshad Ahmed and Lord Nazir Ahmed gave a compelling and comprehensive overview of the prevalent situation in the IOJ&K following India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019.
In his statement, President Masood Khan gave the following messages:
- Save Kashmiris from genocide and collective annihilation.
- Build pressure on India to reverse the illegal steps it took on August 5 and October 31 to annex and colonise the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Work with the Human Rights Council to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in IOJ&K.
- Prepare ground for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the IOJ&K.
- Urge the UN Security Council to meet and intervene in Kashmir to save people from carnage and to stem a drift towards war in the region that could spiral to the nuclear level with dire consequences - instant death of hundreds of millions of people, slow, painful deaths by radiation, global recession, crop failures, and refugees movements. Let’s save the world from a nuclear winter, a nuclear apocalypse, he said.
- Help repulse the rising tide of Hindutva, the most pernicious form of violent extremism today, that threatens not only Muslims in Kashmir, Pakistan and South Asia, but Muslims and human beings all over the world.
- Despite Indian extremists’ jingoism and irredentism, persevere in the quest for a political and diplomatic solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir expressed his deep concern at the prevailing human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir where nearly 9.5 million innocent Kashmiris continued to endure a collective blockade for the past 108 days. He added that events being witnessed in IOJ&K, according to the Genocide Watch, were different stages of genocide.
He emphasized that the illegal and unilateral steps taken by India on 5 August 2019 in IOJ&K were an attempt to re-occupy and re-colonize the Kashmiris’ land in violation of the UN Charter, relevant UN Security resolutions, and the Geneva Conventions. Likewise, India’s announcement on 31 October to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir, redraw its boundaries and issue fake maps were not only a violation of international law but also a blatant infringement of the rights of the Kashmiri people. All these steps had been rejected by the Kashmiris emphatically, the underlined.
President Masood Khan asked: “Are Kashmiri Muslims’ lives expendable? Are they not citizens of this planet? Are Kashmiris orphans of the global family? Do they not have right to defend themselves?”
He emphasized that the rise of right-wing Hindu extremism in India in the form of Hindutva ideology was threat not only to all minorities in India but also to the regional peace and security owing to the jingoistic statements and nuclear threats by the Indian leadership.
He added that the people of Pakistan were determined to defend every inch of their homeland by all means against any threat. Any miscalculation by India would be costly for it, for the region and the world, he stated.
President Masood Khan expressed the deep gratitude of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for resolutely advocating a resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute through dialogue, as well as for Turkey’s principled stance on the issue. Recalling the historic Pakistan-Turkey fraternal relationship, he said that support for the Kashmir cause existed at all levels of the Turkish society and was a source of great solace for the oppressed people of IOJ&K. He also thanked Turkey for its invaluable contribution towards the reconstruction efforts in Azad Kashmir in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2005.
He said that Turkey could play an important role towards the resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir conflict as a mediator as well as through its humanitarian diplomacy which was playing an important role towards global peace.
President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir also invited the participants of the conference to visit Azad Kashmir “where we have nothing to hide and lots to showcase.”
The two-day international conference on Jammu & Kashmir dispute is being attended by dozens of scholars, academicians, researchers, journalists and writers from across the world and will inter alia look at the legal, political, security and human rights dimensions of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.