AJK president raises Kashmir dispute at CIC

Toronto, July 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): The President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan has urged the Canadian Senate, House of Commons and Ontario Legislative Assembly to raise and discuss the Kashmir dispute and send a fact-finding mission to occupied Kashmir and Azad Kashmir to help in finding a resolution of the lingering Kashmir dispute.

Sardar Masood Khan was addressing members of the prestigious Canadian International Council (CIC) whose President, Fraser Mann, presided over the session. Pakistani Consul General, Imran Siddiqui, also attended the event.

He thanked the Council for holding an exclusive session on Kashmir and invited the Council members to visit Azad Kashmir and see for themselves the AJK Government’s endeavours to promote human rights, the rule of law, access to justice and accountability, as well as to foster human development by investing heavily in road infrastructure, power generation, industrial growth, agriculture, health and quality education.

The AJK President told the audience how international community at long last has broken its silence on the massive, gross and consistent human rights violations by the Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. He drew the attention of the Canadian Council to the report on the situation of human rights in Kashmir released recently in Geneva by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Sardar Masood Khan informed the audience that the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) in the British Parliament would soon release a report to substantiate how India’s two notorious draconian laws – the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Security Act – had given a licence to the Indian troops to kill unarmed Kashmiris and shield the perpetrators of these crimes from legal scrutiny, prosecution and punishments. “These laws must be rescinded forthwith,” he said.

The AJK President appealed to the world community to put pressure on India to abide by the rules of proportionality, distinction and precaution, and stop committing war crimes and targeting unarmed Kashmiris. He said that the root cause of the human rights crisis in Kashmir was the denial of the right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people and India’s refusal to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue and diplomacy as demanded by the people of Kashmir and Pakistan. India, he said, wants to resolve the issue through the use of state terrorism and brute force but it would never succeed in its nefarious designs.

Sardar Masood Khan denounced India’s practice of constantly keeping the leaders of Joint Resistance Leadership – Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik – under detention. “These true and faithful representatives of Kashmir must be released,” he demanded.

When asked about the best methodology to resolve the dispute, the AJK President responded, “Let’s put the Kashmir dispute on the table and set up peace tables in Islamabad, Delhi, Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and New York. Let the will of the Kashmiri people prevail. Let them decide their political future in accordance with a dispensation spelt out by the United Nations. Let’s banish violence in the region. But first and foremost, let’s put an end to India’s repression in Kashmir. That should be the starting point.”

Replying to a series of questions by an ex-Indian Army officer, who also attended the event, Sardar Masood Khan said, the Kashmiri Pandits can come back and settle in Kashmir and Muslim population would welcome them in their midst. The Indian Army officer was trying to suggest that any self-determination without the participation of Kashmiri Pandits will be pointless.

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