ANKARA, 6 February 2015:  Participants of a seminar “Jammu & Kashmir – the key to peace and stability in South Asia” organized at Ankara expressed their unflinching support to the oppressed people of Kashmir and their democratic right to self-determination. The seminar, to commemorate Kashmir Solidarity Day, was organized by Turkey-Pakistan Cultural Association in collaboration with Turkish Language Authority on Thursday evening.

Mr. Burhan Kayaturk, President of Turkey-Pakistan Cultural Association and Chairman of Turkey-Pakistan Friendship Group in Turkish Parliament in his keynote speech said the entire world is aware of the sufferings of innocent Kashmiri people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. He said Turkey will continue to support Pakistan and the people of Kashmir till the final resolution of Kashmir dispute according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. “Without resolution of the Kashmir problem, lasting peace cannot be achieved in the region,” he added.

Noted columnist and News and Programme Director of the Arabic service of Turkish Radio & Television Mr. Mehmet Ozturk in his remarks explained in detail the genesis of Kashmir issue. He said Kashmir dispute is one of the major issues faced by the Muslim Ummah. Mr. Mehmet Ozturk said the international community should take notice of the large scale violations of human rights of the innocent Kashmiris. He said despite United Nations Security Council Resolutions calling for UN administered plebiscite, this basic right of the Kashmiri people has not yet been granted to them. He urged all the Muslim countries to help the people of Kashmir and make efforts for early resolution of this long lasting dispute.

Mrs. Aisha Farooqui, Chargé d’Affaires of Pakistan Embassy in her speech reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to extending full diplomatic, moral and political support to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for self determination. She appreciated the steadfast support of the people and Government of Turkey, terming it a source of great strength, both for Pakistan as well as for the Kashmiri people. Mrs. Aisha Farooqui said that elections in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) cannot be a substitute for a UN monitored plebiscite as called for in the Security Council Resolutions. Final settlement of the dispute in accordance with the UNSC Resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people is the only way forward, she added.