India stokes flames of war in the region, AJK President
Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), has said India was stoking flames of war by threatening to “retake” Azad Kashmir and attacking Pakistan with nuclear weapons.
In a statement read out at the Kashmir Conference organized by Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) here, the President said, “India’s war rhetoric is an existential threat that cannot be taken lightly or overlooked”
The President said that for around 80,000 families living on this side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Kashmir, 2019 has been the worst year with over 60 civilian killed and 300 seriously injured or disabled.
Referring to the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), Khan said that the entire territory has been under lockdown and communication blockade for the past 179 days. Some 900,000 Indian forces have invaded and laid siege to the territory on August 5, 2019, he lamented.
The AJK President said that entire pro-freedom leadership is under detention, thousands of young boys have been abducted by the occupation forces and according to the Indian CDS Bipin Rawat they are being kept in concentration camps. These camps, he said reminiscent of the concentration camps that were set up by Adolf Hitler in the last century to annihilate Jews, Romanis and political opponents.
He lamented that women and girls of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are being fetishised by the BJP and RSS apparatchiks. Armed death squads of the Sangh Parivar and Bajrang Dal are prowling in Jammu threatening Muslims while young men are being killed every day in cordon and search operations.
AJK President regretted that the entire territory is under a reign of terror where BJP-RSS regime have robbed Kashmiris of their rights to permanent residence, acquisition of property, education and employment; and have made elaborate vicious plans to grab Kashmiris’ land by settling Hindus from all over India in IOJK.
In IOJK, he went on to say, we are witnessing the most heinous human rights and humanitarian crisis in the world. The Genocide Watch, he said, has issued an alert warning that the IOK has entered the eighth (out of ten) stage of genocide and the next two stages are annihilation and denial.
The BJP-led Indian Government went a step further and on October 31, 2019, by bifurcated the IOJK and showed Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as part of India in the fake maps it issued, Masood Khan said.
About the world reaction to the India’s illegal steps in IOJK, Sardar Masood Khan said the reaction was mixed as the mainstream international media, world parliaments and parliamentarians, civil society activists and human rights organisations have condemned the Indian actions.
The AJK President said that China, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, Germany, Sweden and Finland, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have openly castigated India’s unlawful measures and its scorched earth policy; but the other powerful states, especially Western governments, have yet to openly ask India to step back and lift its occupation lockdown which has further emboldened India.
About the most recent development at the international level, the president said, recently, European Parliament has moved six resolutions in which its members, recalling UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, have called for their implementation by holding a referendum to determine the will of the Kashmiri people.
These resolutions have strongly censured the BJP-RSS regime for passing a discriminatory citizenship law targeting Muslims and crushing protests against the law. Europe is particularly sensitive to the analogy of the rising tide of Hindutva with Nazism and Fascism of the last century that plunged it into a devastating world war, he asserted.
The diaspora community, he said, has significantly helped to make the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination a truly international movement. Pakistan, with the help of China, was able to mobilise the UN Security Council to hold two informal meetings on Kashmir after a passage of 50 years and this time around, even Indian civilian society called on the BJP-RSS regime and stood up for Kashmiris.
The AJK President said that it was a grave mistake in the past three decades to rely on the bilateral dialogue process which was used by India to consolidate its occupation and demonise Pakistan and Kashmiris.
The international media has crafted a true, genuine and authentic narrative on Kashmir exposing Indian’s falsehoods and fabrications. Kashmiri and Pakistan media persons and communicators should interface with the international media networks, both new and traditional, to shine a light on Indian atrocities and its illegal steps to alter demographic composition of the occupied part of the state, in clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the establishment of illegal settlements, mass killings, blindings, torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearances and denial of rights to information and health.
He said we should appeal to the world to stress that the most urgent task is to stop impending carnage and genocide in IOJK.
Referring to mediation offers to resolve the Kashmir issue Sardar Masood Khan said US President Trump has once again asked to “help” Pakistan and India over Kashmir. His offer of meditation in July 2019 created much hype but all hopes were dashed to the ground when India not only rejected this offer but also went on to invade and annex one chunk of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“If President Trump wants to help, then the pressing priority is to save the Kashmiris from mass killings and land grab. A political process for the resolution of the dispute can start simultaneously or later. For any mediation to succeed, the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir should remain the primary framework,” he emphasized.
Express his reservation over offers of bilateral talks or back-door diplomacy, Khan said unless India first restores the disputed status of the Jammu and Kashmir State and reverses its steps taken on August 5 and October 31 last year, sitting across the table from India would be lethal because that would be tantamount to acquiescence in and, in fact, endorsement of India’s illegitimate actions.
Suggesting leveraging the full strength of diaspora community to galvanise world opinion, Kashmiri leader said the time was ripe for making use of the growing political, economic and intellectual clout of the Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora.
He said think tanks and policy forums like PIIA should make a transition from an understanding of the phenomena of Hindutva and the BJP’s irredentism to developing proactive strategies that can help the state of Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir to outmaneuver India in the international realm as well as on the ground.
AJK President said military power is a legitimate instrument of state power to safeguard national security and vital national interests. India is threatening to use force against Pakistan and Azad Kashmir and in this regard, it is wargaming various military options.
“We should ensure full military preparedness, both at the level of the armed forces and in fact the entire nation, for giving fitting responses to Indian adventurism,” the President said and added that military pincer should work with the political, diplomatic and communication pincers.
Linking the success of Kashmir’s freedom struggle with the economic prosperity of Pakistan, Masood Khan said without an economically robust Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, a dream of Kashmir’s liberation from Indian subjugation cannot be materialized.
He appealed to the audience attending the conference to consider Jammu and Kashmir to be part of Pakistan, which was forcibly removed from the body politic of Pakistan through maneuvers, massacres and naked aggression in October 1947.