Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Kashmir said that we strive to get Kashmir liberated no matter how long it takes and how harsh the conditions are created by India.
While addressing a full house of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir meeting on the sidelines of the UN General assembly meeting here in New York , the President thanked OIC Secretary General, H. E. Yousef Al-Othaimeen and the member countries for their steadfast and committed support to the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their right to self-determination.
He said that since OIC’s first resolution on the Kashmir issued in 1990, every year, the Organization has passed resolutions on Kashmir, condemning human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and incorporating its decisions on Kashmir in its ministerial and Summit communiqués. “In the past three decades, no other international body has so consistently and so courageously extended diplomatic support to the Kashmiris.”, said the President.
President AJK apprising the OIC of the grave human rights situation in IOK said that in the past 15 months 700,000 armed Indian troops have made it a living hell for the Kashmiri population by shamelessly murdering hundreds of peaceful protestors, blinding and incapacitating them with the use of illegal pellet guns, dishonoring women, torturing and illegally detaining them on concocted charges.
Masood Khan stated that the people of Azad Kashmir and IOK are thankful for Pakistan’s unwavering and resolute support on the Kashmir Issue for the past seven decades. If it were not for Pakistan’s sovereign diplomatic window to the international community the cause for Kashmir would had absolutely been globally disenfranchised.
India, he said, is using a series of illegal measures to completely transform the demographics of Jammu and Kashmir by threatening to rescind various articles in the Indian constitution that give a thin and meager impression of self-governance to IOK. He informed the members that India has relocated non-Kashmiris to IOK and have given them permanent residence, illegal settlements of nationalist Pandits and former army personnel are being built, and Kashmiri land is being illegally leased to Indian industrialists.
Despite India’s atrocious human rights violations and blatant breach of all international conventions and humanitarian laws, it is disheartening and distressing to witness the inattention of the international community. The condoning of these war crimes by the “champions of human rights” is in a way siding with the oppressor implied the President. The time has come for the world to make a just and moral political decision on the Kashmir.
Recommendations made by President AJK:
President AJK in his closing statement requested the OIC Contact Group to:
(i) call upon the UN Security Council to urgently hold a debate on the situation and ensure to follow up on its own resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir;
(ii) urge the UN Secretary General to use his good offices to leverage preventive diplomacy under Chapter VI of the Charter to intercede and help find a just and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute;
(iii) request International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN Human Rights Council to investigate, pursue and take cognizance of the human rights violations; and also to send a fact finding mission to IOK to assess the situation in-ground;
(iv) request the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide to investigate and establish the use of chemical weapons and the Indian forces’ crimes against humanity and acts of genocide in IOK;
(v) widely disseminate the report of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission on the appalling human rights situation in IOK;
(vi) call on India to rescind its draconian laws especially the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) which has been called a ‘lawless law’ by Amnesty International;
(vii) dissuade India from pursuing the path of escalation, and urge it to cooperate in creating an environment for engagement amongst Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir, under the auspices of the United Nations, in order to explore a lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute.
The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was formed in 1994 to coordinate OIC policy on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Regular meetings of the Contact Group and its unwavering support are reflective of the solidarity of OIC countries providing the Kashmir cause an international platform accentuating with the just cause of the Kashmiris.—Email