ANKARA, 29 October 2014: The participants of a seminar expressed their full support to the oppressed people of Kashmir and their democratic right to self-determination. The seminar, to commemorate Kashmir Black Day, was organized by Economic & Social Research Centre (ESAM) and the Embassy of Pakistan under the theme “Global oppression and Kashmir problem” here on Tuesday evening.

Mr. Recai Kutan, Director General of ESAM in his speech said Kashmir issue is one of the biggest problems of the world. He stressed on the need to resolve Kashmir dispute according to the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. He said Turkey will continue to play a positive role and shall support efforts aimed at resolution of the dispute.

Prof. Dr. Oya Akgönenç, noted academician, writer and former member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, in her keynote speech explained the Kashmir issue in detail. She said the entire Kashmir valley has become a prison for Kashmiri people. These oppressed people are the victims of worst form of human rights violations by the Indian armed forces. Prof. Dr. Oya Akgönenç showed concern at the escalating repressive policies of India in the occupied Kashmir. She urged all freedom loving nations to play their due role in resolving the Kashmir dispute as enshrined in United Nations resolutions.  Prof. Oya reiterated support of the Turkish people for the early resolution of Kashmir dispute according to UN resolutions.

Mr. Ishfaq Bashir, a Kashmiri student studying in a Turkish University narrated the hardships of daily life in Kashmir. He said India has two faces - her face for the outside world is that of her claims to be a democratic country while her other face is for the Kashmiri people who are subjected to worst kind of human rights abuses.

Earlier, Mrs. Aisha Farooqui, Chargé d’Affaires of Pakistan Embassy said the seeds of conflict were sown on 27 October 1947 when India occupied the peaceful valley of Kashmir. She said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are struggling for their fundamental right to self determination for over six decades. Mrs. Aisha Farrooqui updated the audience about the continued violation of Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB) by India since 2 October 2014. She referred to the peace initiatives with India undertaken by the Government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. She said these initiatives were a manifestation of Pakistan’s sincerity to establish good neighbourly relations with India. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s sincerity has not been reciprocated. She reiterated that Pakistan will continue to extend its fullest political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir. She also appreciated the continuing historical support of the people and Government of Turkey in this regard.

A documentary highlighting the misries of the oppressed Kashmiri people and India’s human rights violations was also screened. A large audience including Chairman of Saadat Party Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kamalak, representatives of Turkish think-tanks, NGOs, media, and Pakistan community attended the event.

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