Pakistan moved first to defuse tension with India, Sardar Masood
Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), said on Thursday that tensions between Pakistan and India has subsided after diplomatic efforts by Pakistan and it's friends, but de-escalation does not guarantee peace unless the Kashmir issue is resolved.
“China, America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries have played an important role in defusing the tensions between the two countries, but the world needs to address Kashmir conflict - the root-cause of the tensions between the two countries,” Masood Khan told a group of 23 under-training foreign diplomats from eighteen friendly countries.
The delegation of foreign diplomats under training at Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad, called on AJK President at Aiwan-e- Sadr, Muzaffarabad.
“India started the escalation by violating Pakistan’s airspace and bombing inside the country. Pakistan responded to the aggression to demonstrate that it has capability to retaliate,” President Khan said.
He maintained that Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir have been emphasizing the need to resolve Kashmir issue in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions but it was India that created hurdles in the smooth implementation of the resolutions.
The People of Kashmir have been waiting for over the last seven decades to be provided the opportunity to decide their future through. Free and fair referendum as proposed in the UN Security Council resolutions, he added.
He said Kashmiris being followers of Sufis like Shah Hamdan are peace loving people and it is Indian oppression, inhuman brutalities and unexplained silence of the world that forced them to resist in self-defence.
Responding to questions posed by the participants, Sardar Masood Khan said that people of Azad Kashmir are perturbed because of the constant killings of their brothers and sisters in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and over the continuous hostile fire across the Line of Control killing innocent civilians in Azad Kashmir.”
He further said that the people of IOK unanimously rejects India’s writ and were demanding freedom from the oppressive Indian rule. He also accused India of creating obstacles in the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which has been tasked by the UN to monitor the cease fire along the LOC.
Khan told the participants that ‘Azad Kashmir has progressed immensely over the years and now we enjoy the highest literacy rate, lowest crime rate. The Annual Development Budget for AJK has doubled and it is now officially a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor with 4 dedicated projects announced for the region.
The Government was focused on development in infrastructure, energy sector, tourism, telecommunication and agriculture,” said Khan. “Quality education and health are our main priorities”, he added.