Kashmir human rights, not a regional but global issue: AJK President
The Azad Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan has categorically rejected that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India. "The Kashmir issue cannot be a bilateral issue, but instead is a matter concerning the violation of international laws on human rights on the part of India," he declared.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a conference in the UK Parliament organised by Raja Najabat Hussain, president Jammu Kashmir Self-Determination Movement in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day here on Wednesday. The conference was also addressed by Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Dame Rosie Winterton, Chairperson all parties Kashmir parliamentary group (APKPG) in the UK Parliament Debbie Abrahams, Secretary APKPG Lord Qurban Hussain; Shadow Secretary for South Asia James Daily; Shadow Secretary Northern Ireland Tony Lloyd, Shadow Secretary of State for Media and Culture, Shadow Secretary for Justice Yasmin Qureshi, Afzal Khan, prominent social worker Sumera Farrukh, Zeeshan Arif and other speakers.
He stressed the UK Government to give up its policy of impartiality, and raise its voice against the injustice being done to the Kashmiri people, and help Pakistan in vigorously taking up the Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council. "Helping Pakistan in this regard is supporting efforts to uphold the principles of right and justice, which is obligatory for all of humanity", he added.
He called upon the United Nations to appoint a Permanent Special Envoy on Kashmir, and assign it to find facts regarding the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir. "We will welcome such a UN Envoy in Azad Kashmir as we have nothing to hide here," he emphatically stated.
While declaring all Indian actions in occupied Kashmir as unlawful, the AJK President said that after August 5, India with the help of its 900,000 well-equipped troops had reoccupied Kashmir, bifurcated it, and turned it into an Indian colony. "India has done all this against the will of the Kashmiri people and in violation of not only the relevant UN resolutions but all international agreements and laws," he said adding that the Kashmiri people have rejected all these actions.
Throwing light on the latest situation in the held territory, Sardar Masood Khan lamented that the youth were being arrested and detained in concentration centres while the women were being gang-raped. He maintained that the Indian forces were using the rape as a weapon of war.
He pointed out that important parliaments of the world including the UK Parliament, international human rights organisations and media have raised their voice in support of the Kashmiri people and against the Indian actions, which is a worth mentioning development.
While appreciating the freedom-loving nations for expressing solidarity with the Kashmiri people, he said that Kashmir Solidarity Day has been observed in not only Pakistan and Azad Kashmir but also in every part of the world. This has highly encouraged the Kashmiri people, and every nook and cranny of the occupied territory was echoing with the slogans of "we want freedom" and "India must quit Kashmir, he added.