Demographic changes in IOJK to turn disputed region into a Hindu state: Masood

Islamabad; 18 January: Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the Indian occupation authorities are using demographic changes to vaporize the State of Jammu & Kashmir and to make it a Hindu majority state.

“This is unacceptable. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have vowed they would not let this happen”, asserted Masood Khan.

The AJK President made these remarks while addressing a webinar on “New Domicile Law in IOJK” organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). The event was attended by Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director CRSS and Dr Nazir Gillani, President of Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights. 

The President while addressing the seminar said, India invaded and reoccupied IOJK on August 5, 2019, and then illegally divided the state into two parts and annexed it to the Indian federation, against the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Since then, he said, Indian forces have been systematically killing, torturing, forcibly disappearing and incarcerating people in the occupied territory, targeting young men.

Thousands of political activists have been put in concentration camps. Rape and sexual violence against women have been used as a weapon of war to punish the entire population of the disputed region in order to deter them from demanding freedom and self-determination, he said.

Masood Khan said that since April last year, Indian occupation forces and authorities are systematically and illegally changing the demography in the occupied territory.

He went on to add that more than two million Hindus from India have been imported and transferred to the occupied territory and the Indian leadership has made it clear that they would increase this number to more than 5 million in a short period of time.

“India through these actions is violating international humanitarian law and norms of customary international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol prohibit deportation or transfer of a State’s own population in a territory it occupies while the Statute of International Criminal Court says that such transfers, directly or indirectly constitute a war crime.”

Sardar Masood maintained that several resolutions of the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Commission declared such illegal transfers and “implantation of settlers and settlements” unlawful and that the State undertaking such an exercise, as well as individuals, making  decisions on its behalf will have criminal responsibility.

Moreover, President Khan said that Article II of 1948 Genocide Convention recognizes that a crime of genocide and it clearly depicts the situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Article II, he said, defines genocide as any of the acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. “This is what is happening in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”, he said.

Khan said that the Muslim majority of the disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir aspire to decide their political future by exercising their right to self-determination but India has chosen to crush these aspirations of the entire Kashmiri nation and is now in the process of altering the occupied territory to a Hindu Rashtra.

He said that the world is aware of the heinous and punishable crimes the BJP-RSS regime is committing in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India’s crimes against humanity, he said, have been highlighted by the world media, influential parliaments and civil society.

President AJK said that despite this overwhelming evidence, the world’s most powerful nations, who present themselves as custodians of human rights law, have not moved; and they have no intention to move. “This is complicity; this is a dereliction of legal obligations on their part”, he said.

Masood Khan said that the Kashmir movement has to be turned into an international civil rights movement to get Kashmiris out of this living inferno and this has to be a people’s movement at the global level.

“We must activate the political pincer with the participation of the diaspora community and international civil society to demand justice for Kashmiris. There are no shortcuts to achieving this goal.”

“We should move out of closed-room meetings and diplomatic chambers because the crimes being committed in Kashmir are crimes against humanity”, the state president concluded. 

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