Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), has said that after the revocation of Articles 35-A and 370 on August 5, 2019, any semblance of autonomy enjoyed by the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) has been done away with. Furthermore, he said that Indian government’s proposed amendment to the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act will give the occupation forces full authority to declare any part of IOJK as a “strategic area”, allowing them to “legitimise” land grab within the disputed territory.
The President made these comments while addressing a seminar on Kashmir organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting here in the capital. The AJK President said that almost a year has elapsed since the occupational lockdown has been imposed in IOJK and during this period the India government has taken illicit steps towards bi-furcating the territory, placing it under Union control and ultimately introducing the New Domicile Rules. Proposed amendments in Jammu and Kashmir Development Act will turn the entire region into a military establishment, he said.
Masood Khan said that privileged special status and exclusive rights to permanent residence, acquisition of property, education and livelihood of Kashmiris have been revoked making way for non-Kashmiris to come and settle in the State which eventually would change Kashmir’s Muslim majority demography into a minority. After the introduction of the New Domicile Rules, Kashmiris have been displaced, dispossessed and disenfranchised within their own homeland, he said while adding that 32,000 non-state Indians have been given domiciles which is lebensraum and irredentism on the part of India.
Under the garb of the cordon and search operation, hundreds of Kashmiris have been martyred since the lockdown has been imposed in IOJK, maintained the President. The State President expressed his gratitude to the international media, world parliaments, diaspora community and the global civil society for raising their voice in favour of the Kashmiris, especially after the illegal steps taken on August 5 last year. He lauded the international community for openly calling out India for its human rights violations and illicit actions. He especially thanked the important parliaments such as the US Congress; both the British Houses, European and ASEAN Parliaments for holding debates, hearings and publishing reports on the situation in IOJK and also thanked the Kuwaiti Cabinet for calling out India’s Hindu-extremist policy.
President Masood said that the people of AJK and IOJK pay tribute the role played by the State of Pakistan, human rights activists and the dynamic diaspora community for raising the issue of Kashmir and highlighting the gross human rights violations taking place in IOJK. “The issue of Kashmir was internationalised after August 5 and the UN Security Council has held three informal debates on Jammu and Kashmir further accentuating our claims of the matter being an international dispute and not an internal or territorial issue”, he said.
Unfortunately, he said, this momentum has been broken due to the global community’s attention being diverted towards issues like the COVID-19 pandemic. “We must regain this momentum and bring Kashmir into the international spotlight once again”, said Masood Khan. President Masood Khan said that the fascist Indian government’s strategy is simply to destroy Pakistan and wipe it off the face of the world map. “This is what the whole political and military leadership of India says and their intention is to carry out mischief just below the threshold of nuclear war. In their ambition to establish Akhand Baharat they have adopted an extremist Hindutva policy where their aim is to eliminate all non-Hindus from the whole of the Sub-continent, he said.
The President said that our foremost priority is to we have to stop the occupation and human rights violations taking place in IOJK. He urged the audience to demonstrate unity amongst their ranks to help built international pressure. He said we must leverage the strengths of the diaspora community. He added that we must invest in effectively communicating our stance and plight of the Kashmiris to the international community. “Play in the same realm of hybrid warfare in which India is playing. We must get RSS and BJP designated as terrorist organisations. India has imposed a war on us. Our identity and religion is under threat”, he said. The AJK President said that we are in the middle of a war that India has started. We must be prepared and for that, we have to make Pakistan economically, politically, diplomatically.