Mirpur conference renews support to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination

General Official News

Mirpur, January 10, 2019 (PPI-OT): Speakers at a conference held in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir while renewing their support to the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination said that the denial of this legitimate and inalienable right to the Kashmiri people was the main cause of the deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir.

The day-long national conference titled “UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir: Demographic Changes and Societal Implications” was jointly organized by Mirpur University of Science and Technology and Pakistan House, at the main campus of the varsity in Mirpur on Wednesday.

The President of AJK, Sardar Masood Khan who was speaking as the Chief Guest said the right to self-determination is the mother of all rights and that it cannot be snatched from the people of Kashmir. He appreciated the role of the Kashmiri leadership and the people in their persistent struggle to get this basic right. He advised the Kashmiri students to develop legal expertise which is an essential element to play an effective role for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and called upon them to use social media to highlight the plight of the Kashmiris.

Convener, All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter, Syed Abdullah Gilani, speaking on the occasion said that the facts highlighted in the UN report were not new. He said that the root cause of the Kashmir dispute was not giving the Kashmiris their right to self-determination. He said there have been many evidences in the history where conflicts have been resolved through the self-determination such as in East Timor and Northern Island. Although, the case of East Timor, he said, was similar to that of Kashmir, yet strangely those world powers who had supported the people of East Timor in their right to self-determination have remained silent on the Kashmir dispute.

President of Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR), Dr Nazir Gilani opined that in order to project the Kashmir case effectively, it is necessary to be precise in the argumentations. Pakistan, he said, has to make sure that it must have stronger arguments than India, adding that the youth of Kashmir must be good story tellers to project their case. In the end of his speech, he highlighted another war crime committed by the Indian Armed Forces that is using the Kashmiri children for spying.

Convener, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum, Syed Faiz Naqashbandi said the UN resolutions are both agreed by India and Pakistan and these resolutions have clearly declared the Kashmiris right to self-determination. Moreover, he questioned the stationing of 700,000 Indian troops in occupied Kashmir which is the largest occupying force in the world.

Hurriyat leader Ghulam Muhammad Safi said the people of Kashmir are awaiting the day when they will be able to express their right to self-determination. He said one can achieve a lot with diplomacy, but a lot more can be achieved by engaging in diplomacy backed by force.

Vice Chancellor, Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST), Dr Habibur Rahman said that the 15th December 2018 was the bloodiest day in the occupied territory when 11 Kashmiris were killed in a single day and dozens others were injured. Because of these incidents, he said, Kashmir is now gaining global sympathy. The UN report, he said, is an important initiative because it urges India to respect the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people. He also emphasized the importance of arranging seminars and events on the UN report.

Thanking the participants, the Director General, Pakistan House, Rana Athar Javed stressed that civil society have a huge responsibility to project the plight of the Kashmiri people. Speaking on behalf of other Pakistanis, he said that the sacrifices of the Kashmir people have not been forgotten. He concluded by highlighting the importance of Kashmir by sharing Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s view on Kashmir who had said that Kashmir is a jugular vein of Pakistan.

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