Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has stressed the United Kingdom - as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council - to actively pursue a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of the Kashmiris and the United Nations resolutions.
He expressed these views while addressing the Kashmir Conference at the Waltham Forest Council Town-hall, London organized by Chaudhry Shaukat Ali, Chairman British Muslim Friends of Labor.
The President in his opening remarks commended the diaspora community for creating a formidable niche in the United Kingdom. Your voices, he said, were now being heard by the Parliamentarians and thanked them for creating critical awareness about the Kashmir issue and the human rights violations taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Being the highest concentration of Pakistani-Kashmiri diaspora around the world; the diaspora community here in the UK yield a special influence as they are now an integral part of the political and economic fabric of the British society.
The President said that this whole week we will mark Kashmir Solidarity Day with the oppressed people of IOK. This day, he said, we express solidarity with the orphans whose parents have been killed, with the widows whose husbands have been forcibly disappeared, with the victims of rape and sexual violence, with the parents, brothers and sisters of young unarmed Kashmiris who have been killed by Indian occupation forces and with the brave Kashmiris and their leadership.
The President reiterated that as a result of its global influence, the United Kingdom also has the responsibility to stop gross human rights violations taking place against the Kashmiris whose only demand is freedom from oppression and the free will to exercise their right self-determination.
The President condemned the repressive measures adopted by the Indian Government ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the Joint Resistance Leadership including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and many others were placed under house arrest and a curfew has been imposed in the occupied territory. He said that the message from the Kashmiris is clear and they want India to leave and stop subjugating the people. President AJK said that no level of economic and political blandishments, harassment or intimidation will be able to suppress the freedom struggle of the Kashmiris.
The President termed the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people as unprecedented, as their struggle dates back to 1819 when the Kashmiris first fought the slavery imposed by the then Maharaja. Now, he said, the Kashmiris are struggling against Indian occupation. Over the past 70 years, India has made Kashmir its colony and Kashmiris are murdered, maimed and blinded at an unparalleled level, he said. He termed these human rights violations as war crimes and said it was no less than genocide, as 700,000 Indian occupation forces armed to the teeth are pitted against 200 or so “militants” – as claimed by Indian defence experts
The President said that human rights violations in IOK have now been reported by the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the 76 MPs strong UK All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group who have through comprehensive reports documented these gross and consistent human rights. He said that it’s no longer just our narrative but a reality accepted by renowned international organizations.
The President stressed upon the Councilors and political activists to continue creating awareness on the human rights violations in IOK. He said that Kashmir is the only place in the world where the people have been absolutely deprived of their identity and political will. He said that they should actively reach out to their Parliamentarians and Peers, and help encourage debates on the issue of Kashmir.
The event was also addressed by Shadow Minister for Justice MP Imran Hussain, President Tahreek-e-Kashmir UK Mr. Fahim Kiani, Chaudhry Shaukat Ali and other community leaders.