President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Ambassador Sardar Masood Khan speaking on “Kashmir: Sardar Masood Khan’s Perspective” at South Asia Center, Atlantic Council today, 04 December 2017.

“Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) must end, U.S. should play its role as a facilitator in resolving Kashmir dispute” says AJK President Masood Khan

Massive human rights violations should come to an end in Indian occupied Kashmir and serious efforts must be made by the international community to find a lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

These remarks were made by Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, while addressing a forum organized by the Atlantic Council in Washington today. The Atlantic Council is one of the United States’ premier think tanks.

The President said that there can be no peace in South Asia until the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir was resolved.

Responding to a question, President Masood Khan said that the international community should step forward to stop ongoing crimes against humanity in Indian occupied Kashmir. India had used real politik and the promise of economic deals to impose a virtual “gag order” on key Western capitals from speaking out against the atrocities being committed by the Indian occupation forces in Kashmir, he added.

“This was tantamount to appeasement, which will have serious repercussions for peace and stability in the region,” the AJK President said.

President Masood Khan invited the United States to play the role of a facilitator by bringing all the relevant parties to the peace table. Right now, he said, the reality was that there was total non-engagement between the parties to the dispute and unbridled repression by Indian occupation forces in the territory.

For Kashmiris, President Masood Khan said, Pakistan was the only “sovereign window” to the international community. While thanking Pakistan for its staunch diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris, the AJK President said that Kashmiris from both sides – Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir – are also taking their narrative directly to the international community.

President Masood Khan said that there was no terrorism in Indian occupied Kashmir. The Kashmiris are waging a political struggle to win their freedom from India’s illegitimate rule.

India, the President said, was not only killing, torturing and maiming ordinary Kashmiris, but propagating a false narrative about their struggle by equating it with terrorism. Kashmiris do not want to be a flashpoint between Pakistan and India but a symbol of connectivity and cooperation.

“Kashmiris should not be treated as aliens in their homeland. It is their territory and they would decide their political future and the destiny of their state,” President Masood Khan stressed. He underlined that there were three parties to the dispute – Pakistan, India and Kashmiris. The Kashmiris were the key constituency. He criticized India for trying to exclude Kashmiris from discussions on the Kashmir dispute. “Discussing Kashmiris without the presence of Kashmiris was the biggest oxymoron ever,” the President said.

Responding to a series of questions, the AJK President said it was India, and not Pakistan, that was responsible for the non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions. According to Resolution 98 of December 23, 1952, both India and Pakistan were required to proportionately reduce their troops simultaneously. But India had declined to fulfill its international obligation and, instead, propped up a dubious constituent assembly to hold rigged elections, thereby violating the UN Security Council resolutions.

President Masood Khan expressed serious concern about the rise of Hindu extremism in India. He said that Hindutva-inspired fundamentalism was more sinister than so-called Islamic fundamentalism.

The event was attended by South Asia specialists from Washington’s think tank community, correspondents from local- and South Asia-based newspapers and television channels, and members of the Kashmiri diaspora.

Washington DC,
December 04, 2017

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