Masood appeals to UK to help lift siege, end carnage, reject India's occupation of Kashmir
Addressing a packed conference in the House of Commons full of Members of British Parliament and Lords from across the political spectrum and leading diaspora community leaders, AJK President Masood Khan appealed to the British Parliament and Government to help save the Kashmiris in IOJK from ongoing carnage, incarceration and torture. “Silence today while Kashmir today is being colonised and destroyed by the fascist regime of India would amount to endorsement of Indian crimes. India wants the world to look the other way but you must stare India down until it reverses its aggression in IOJK”.
“There is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak; and today is the time to speak to save Kashmiris while Kashmir is being annihilated before your eyes. Compunction later would be too late, too little”, he said.
Political activist Faheem Kiani, Chairman Tehreek-i-Kashmir, organised this highly successful Parliamentary event that was skilfully chaired by British MP Honourable Jess Phillips.
The conference, at which more than 40 MPs and peers were and some 20 took the floor, was especially attended by the Honourable Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, despite the British Parliament’s singleminded and all-consuming focus on Brexit.
In his remarks, the Labour leader expressed strong and unequivocal solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, criticised the tendency to dehumanise the Kashmiris and Kashmir dispute and conveyed his deep concern over the ongoing punitive communications blockade in the occupied territory. The Kashmir issue was “difficult and complex, with nearly intractable fault-lines”, but this he said was no reason for the international community to ignore human rights and humanitarian crisis in Kashmir. A former Defence Minister, Mr. Watson said that he was worried by the presence of one million Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the nuclear capability of India and Pakistan.
President Masood Khan thanked the Labour Party’s Deputy Leader for and the Labour Party for passing an emergency motion in a recent party conference. “You did not equivocate, you did not prevaricate, you did not hold your tongue because of political or economic calculations; you made a clear moral choice and spoke up for the people of Kashmir and we will always remember that you stood by us in the darkest hour in our history.” The Hindu extremists tried to muzzle the voice of the Labour Party by demonising and blackmailing but the Labour Party was not deterred, he said thankfully.
He reminded his audience that last century when Hitler and Mussolini were busy attacking their neighbourhoods and Hitler burnt millions of Jews into ashes, the world did not intervene to stop a holocaust. Today, he said, that Modi and his criminal cohorts, were preparing for a genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris and in full knowledge of these crimes against humanity in the occupied territory the global powers were dithering. He informed his audience that in this century Kashmiris had been designated for annihilation by RSS’s death squads and lynching mobs. “There is another holocaust around the corner reminiscent of the Jammu massacre of 237,000 Muslims in Jammu. The world must act and break the paralysis in decision-making before it is too late”, he said.
Speaker after speaker castigated India for its brutalities in IOJK, expressed consternation at the inaction of the UN and Governments and resolved to fight for the rights of the Kashmiris.
President Masood Khan urged the British parliamentarians not to allow India to hide behind its disingenuous a stance that the Kashmir issue was a bilateral dispute which to deceive Pakistan and the international community, perpetuate its occupation and brutalise the people of Kashmir. “The real motive behind this stance is to disenfranchise and exclude the people of Kashmir and the United Nations from a peacemaking process. The Kashmir issue is truly trilateral and multilateral.” He appealed to the British Parliament to build pressure on the Security Council to step forward to find a just and lasting solution of the dispute, in accordance with the spirit of its own resolutions, by empowering the people of Kashmir to determine their political destiny. The right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir was sacrosanct and it would not be compromised, he said.
The AJK President said that Kashmiris had not given l half a million lives since 1947 to seek just restoration of telecommunications and mobile phone networks. They have vowed that they would secure their freedom and liberty at all costs. They had not and they would not capitulate, he declared.
The President urged a cross-party assembly of lawmakers here to continue to make statements, address communications to the FCO and 10 Downing Street as well as to the UN leadership, pass motions, and hold debates until India is held to account and made to roll back its aggression and colonial rule.
The President said that the people of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan were in a state of war - a war declared by BJP and RSS leaders, who had re-occupied the IOJK, threatened to attack AJK to “retake” it militarily, and disintegrate Pakistan, inter alia, by using nuclear arsenal. “This is not just war psychosis and nuclear brinkmanship, but a conscious campaign to push the entire world to an apocalypse”, he said adding that half a million people of Azad Kashmir living across the Line of Control were bearing the brunt of India’s hostile fire.
Following the parliamentary conference, the AJK President, separately, received a 20-member delegation of the UK student leaders representing various disciplines and universities who are keen to raise awareness about the dire human rights situation in IOJK and mobilise the support of student bodies all over the world to seek justice for Kashmiris. The President said as young leaders they should explore space for diplomacy to promote and protect the rights of the embattled and encaged Kashmiris. The struggle of Kashmiris was against fascism, colonialism and xenophobia. It as a just cause, which requires the intercession of young global leaders to pursue peacemaking in Kashmir and peace-building in South Asia.
Earlier in the day, Sardar Masood Khan also held consultations with Shadow Minister Liz McInnes and All Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group Chairperson Debbie Abrahams, briefed them about the latest situation in IOJK and Azad Kashmir, and invited them to visit AJK, which he said was keen to receive parliamentary delegations from abroad. He also discussed modalities for the establishment of an international humanitarian corridor for the besieged people of the IOJK.