Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has appreciated Turkish leadership particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdoðan for strongly advocating the Kashmir cause. “President Erdoðan strongly advocated a resolution of Kashmir dispute through dialogue in Islamabad and New Delhi and recently and at the UN General Assembly in New York without any fear or favor,” he declared.
The AJK president expressed these views while addressing international conference on Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and Role of International Community, organized here on Wednesday by the Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) and the Institute for Strategic Thinking (SDE). He hoped that the conference will bring the Kashmir cause to the radar screen of global diplomacy. “Today this event may look like a blip but tomorrow it might become a trend or a tidal wave,” he added.
The AJK president said that Pakistan and Turkey were intertwined in strongest bonds while Azad Kashmir had a special relationship with Turkey. After 2005 earthquake, Turkey was the first and the most efficient responder for rescue, relief and rehabilitation besides subsequent reconstruction process.
Touching upon the Kashmir issue, Sardar Masood Khan said that Kashmir which is called paradise on earth, is right now rather a hell on earth, where mountains, valleys, rivers and forests – all are in shackles. What’s more, the entire population is imprisoned in their homes. A full gag order has been slapped in Kashmir; and now India wants to silence voices being raised for the rights of the Kashmiri people, he added.
He said that the Indian aggression of August 5 and the subsequent actions including bifurcation of occupied Kashmir violate the UN Charter, UN Security resolutions, and the Geneva Conventions. India has taken away special rights of the Kashmiri people to education, employment, acquisition of property and permanent residence, and Hindus from all over India would be settled in held territory to replicate the model of the settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and change the demographic composition of the state for all times to come.
The state president said that this is colonization plain and simple; and occupied Kashmir today is effectively under foreign occupation and alien domination. He recalled that British, French and European Parliaments have held debates on Kashmir and the US Congress has convened two hearings on the human rights crisis in Kashmir, the latest by the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the British All Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group have called for a ban on the use of the pellet guns, as well as repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act. They have all demanded an end to the security lockdown and information blackout.