President Azad Jammu Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan has appealed the people of United States (US) to step forward to defend the rights of the people of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, who were bearing the brunt of Indian terror, aggression and colonization since August 5.
He expressed these views while addressed a large gathering of Americans from different walks of life, at the prestigious Harvard Club in New York said a press release received here on Friday.
The President said like the United States, the Kashmiris had fought a war of independence in 1947 during which they were able to liberate only a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, before India moved in and occupied a big chunk of its territory. That liberated territory, he said, is now called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan which focuses on education, good governance and economic development; whereas the Indian occupied territory has been subjected to brutalization since 1947.
The President apprised his audience about the horrendous and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He briefed them that the territory had been under siege for the past 55 days during which thousands of civilians had been detained who are being tortured mercilessly in prison houses resembling concentration camps.
People who were resisting India’s occupation and were demanding their freedom and self-determination were being killed, blinded, maimed, tortured and disappeared. Women have been molested and raped and were being threatened with assault. They were being treated as spoils of war by the occupation forces.
The United States, he said, had led the world to shape the new world order symbolized by the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He urged the United States (US) civil society to save that order by rescuing the Kashmiris who were facing genocide and annihilation.
‘Last century, Jews were targeted by a systematic genocide. Would this time Kashmiris be dehumanized and eliminated by India’s violent extremist doctrine of Hindutva and the world would stand idly by?’ he inquired. President Masood Khan warned that a war between India and Pakistan on Kashmir could escalate to the nuclear level and imperil the entire globe.
India’s aggression in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and its war hysteria is pushing the region to the brink of war. That war must be averted by mounting pressure on India to restore the fundamental rights of Kashmiris and walk back from its aggressive supremacist agenda, he emphasized. ‘Kashmiris do not want to be seen as a nuclear flashpoint but a symbol of amity and connectivity. All they want is restoration of their identity and exercise of their right to self-determination’, he said. The US, he said, in this regard could play a leadership role by making a moral choice to protect the rights of the Kashmiris and putting them above its legitimate economic and strategic ties with India.
Responding to a question about the offer of mediation by President Donald Trump, President Masood Khan said people of Jammu and Kashmir, in principle, welcomed all forms of diplomacy, including third party mediation. But such a process, he said, should not be disingenuous and it should put Kashmiris at the centre of any such process. s