Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has welcomed the statement issued by Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), who said that dialogue between India and Pakistan is the only tool for sustainable peace and solution of the disputes between the two nations.

President UNGA who is currently visiting Pakistan has said that dialogue between India and Pakistan is a must and this also resonated in the words of the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres regarding the Kashmir dispute. 

President Masood Khan said that Pakistan and the Kashmiris have welcomed the UN Secretary General’s call for dialogue between Pakistan and India and his statement that the United Nations had done its job by releasing a report on human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), last year. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights last June issued a detailed report which had recorded massive human rights violations and crimes against humanity being committed by occupation forces in IOK.

The President agreed with the UN Secretary General that dialogue on the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India must be meaningful. He, however, pointed out that the history of dialogue spread over the past decades was not encouraging, as India traditionally not only evades such talks but also uses dilatory tactics to perpetuate its occupation in IOK. He added that any bilateral dialogue in the past had not been allowed to graduate to a substantive, meaningful level because of India’s manipulation.

It was against this backdrop, the President said, it was necessary for the UN to play its rightful role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. “United Nations resolutions on Kashmir are keystone documents, which cannot be shelved or supplanted”, he said.

The President invited the UN Secretary General to use his good offices, without invoking the condition of concurrence by India and Pakistan, under Chapter VI of the UN Charter to facilitate the process of negotiation, arbitration, conciliation and other arrangements for the pacific settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

The AJK President in his statement strongly condemned the brutal killing of two young men in Budgam district during the draconian search and cordon operations. India, he said, is deliberately targeting young men to silence the voices of freedom and self-determination. The President also condemned the arrest of Muhammad Yasin Malik, Zafar Akbar Butt and 12 others belonging to the Joint Resistance Leadership. “They must be freed immediately, along with Shabbir Shah, Mussarat Alam Butt and Assiya Andrabi”, said President Masood. 

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