Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that 73 years of Indian aggression has not deterred the passion and commitment of the Kashmiri people for ascertaining their right to self-determination.
“Kashmiris are the most courageous people on the face of this earth; and it is, therefore, our core responsibility to save our Kashmiri brothers and sisters from Indian aggression.
We here in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir are free and we cannot leave Kashmiris at the mercy of the barbaric Indian occupation forces”, he said.
The President made these remarks, as chief guest, at the launch of the book titled “La Makan”, a collection of poetry, authored by Ms. Ghazala Habib, Chairperson Friends of Kashmir International. The event was also attended and addressed by Speaker AJK Legislative Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir, former Minister Dr. Muhammad Amjad, senior journalist Mr. Mazhar Barlas, President National Press Club Mr. Shakeel Anjum, former President PFUJ Afzal Butt and prominent poet Mr. Ronaq Hayat.
The AJK President praised the efforts of the Friends of Kashmir and especially Ghazala Habib for raising the Kashmir issue in the US, especially in the State of Texas.
He said that she has established inroads into the US civil society, engaged US Congressional leaders and has provided Kashmiris with an opportunity to tell their tragic story of repression and torture.
He added that our diaspora community has proven to be a strong force in the advocacy of the Kashmir issue. He also expressed his gratitude to the National Press Club for always proactively raising the Kashmir dispute and opening its doors to the Kashmiri people.
Masood Khan said that since 1947 the people of Kashmir have been striving for freedom from occupation and this passion has not dwindled. For 73 years, India has tried every trick in the book to woo the Kashmiris by economic blandishments, political manoeuvring and even brute force; but to no avail.
Even today, he said, the Kashmiris still chant to slogan “Pakistan Zindabad”. President Masood Khan said that apart from diplomatic and political efforts we have to make this movement a people’s movement, a global civil rights movement that would shake the conscience of the whole world.