India be brought to task for crimes against humanity in IIOJK- Masood Khan
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that since 1989, about 100,000 Kashmiris had been massacred, thousands of women had been raped, thousands more had been forcibly disappeared in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK). Kashmiris killed in cordon and search operations have been interred unceremoniously in mass and unmarked. An estimated 8000 unmarked graves are scattered all around IOJK, of which only 6000 have been identified, he said.
The AJK President made these remarks at an event jointly organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Self-Determination Movement-International (JKSDMI) and the Jammu and Kashmir Forum-France on “Enforced Disappearances in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”, held here at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS). Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Mr. Shehryar Afridi, Member National Assembly Ms. Naureen Farouq Ibrahim, former AJK Minister Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, Director Kashmir Institute of International Relations Mr. Altaf Wani, Members UK Youth Parliament Ms. Muzdalifah Ahmed and Mr. Arqam Al-Hadeed, senior journalist Mr. Abid Abbasi and Secretary-General JKSDMI Muhammad Azam also addressed the event.
The President in his opening remarks thanked the JKSDMI for their concerted efforts in highlighting the Jammu and Kashmir issue and for working with vigour by reaching out to the local British populace and political representatives in the UK and Europe.
Highlighting the situation in IOJK, Masood Khan said that young Kashmiris are being killed and arrested for simply standing up in defence of their innocent mothers, sisters and daughters. Thousands of innocent Kashmiris have been forcefully disappeared under black-laws like the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The global community, he said, has extensively reported and compiled these atrocities but this does not mean our job is done as we have to continue our efforts.
President AJK asserted that the burning issue right now is the illegal demographic changes taking place in IOJK. He added that half a million non-State Indians have already been given domiciles while another 1.7 million brought into IOJK are in the process of being granted Kashmiri domiciles.
Pointing to stark statistics, he said that Jammu in 1947 had a 61 percent Muslim population and now that has become 33 percent. “The same is being planned in the Valley of Kashmir. Kashmiris will be exterminated in the same manner when in November 1947, 237,000 Kashmiris were mercilessly killed in what can be evidently be called the first instance of ethnic genocide after the WW-II”, he impressed upon his audience.
The President warned that at the rate at which India is taking action in IOJK, if we don't act now we will have no Kashmir to fight for. “We must stop acting defensively and speaking in the future tense. Instead, we should take up the issue proactively and act this very moment”, said Masood Khan.
The AJK President said that India is trying to buy time and till now India insistence on bilateral talks has been nothing but a ruse. He urged that instead of relying on bilateral talks with India, we should keep going to international multilateral organizations, capitals, think-tanks and parliaments all over the world. “The world will listen if you speak up loudly and clearly. The EU Parliament has spoken in favour of the Kashmiris while the All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group in the British Parliament has even published a damning report on Indian atrocities in IOJK. We have been given a space never witnessed before and we should exploit this opportunity”, he said.
President Masood Khan said that the UN is not going to give us Kashmir on a silver platter unless we transform Kashmir into a global movement, in the same manner, massive support was garnered against the Apartheid, the Vietnam War or in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident; the UN will not act.
The AJK President urged that we must highlight our successes and build hope for the people who are struggling for freedom and liberty of the Kashmiri people. He said that the new generation has to redefine its own role as they are our hope. “The baton for the freedom struggle has landed in the hands of the new generation”, he said.
Masood Khan maintained that we must make India accountable for its actions and we cannot let India go scot-free for the crimes they have perpetrated. A similar situation of accountability was seen in the previous century during the Nuremberg trials and the culprits of these atrocities have to be brought to the stand to face the crimes against humanity being committed in IOJK.
Ending his talk, the President that we must not be intimidated by the so-called might of India and we should continue our struggle. “The valiant people of Kashmir have not been intimidated by India and have faced the wrath of Indian atrocities for the past 70 years. They are our role-models and we shall continue our efforts to liberate our brothers and sisters from Indian oppression”, he said.