Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has urged the Canadian Senate, House of Commons and Ontario Legislative Assembly to raise and discuss the Kashmir issue and send a fact-finding mission to both Indian Occupied Kashmir and Azad Kashmir to help find a solution of the long-standing dispute of Kashmir and ascertain horrendous human rights situation in IOK.
The President of Azad Kashmir made this appeal while addressing members of the prestigious Canadian International Council (CIC), whose President, Fraser Mann, presided over the session. Mr. Imran Siddiqui, the Pakistan Consul General, also attended the event.
In the past, the CIC has attracted speakers including prime ministers, foreign ministers, heads of international organisations, and prominent academics.
While thanking the Council for holding an exclusive session on Kashmir, the President invited 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.
Sardar Masood Khan thanked Canada for its contribution to the decision making on Kashmir in the Security Council, in the very early phase, and its support to and participation in the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
The President told his audience how the international community at long last has broken its silence on the massive, gross and consistent human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. He drew the attention of the Canadian Council to the report on the situation of human rights in IOK released recently in Geneva by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which meticulously chronicles evidence of a rampant culture of impunity and denial of access to justice in IOK, as well as brutalisation of Kashmiris through killings, excessive use of force, mass blindings of protesters or bystanders, torture, enforced disappearances and sexual violence.
This, President Masood Khan said, is not enough because the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was constrained to collect this data through “remote monitoring” because of India’s denial of access to IOK proposed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2016.—PR