World must act to resolve root cause of tensions between India and Pakistan’: Masood Khan

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Wednesday regretted that while the international community showed deep concern over escalations between India and Pakistan, it tended to ignore that root cause of hostilities.
“De-escalation is not enteral and tensions can flare up again anytime as long the longstanding Kashmir dispute remains unresolved,” he told an Austrian delegation here on Wednesday.
Headed by Dr Werner Fasslabend, former Austrian defence minister and current president of Austrian Institute for European and Security Studies, the delegation included Brig-Gen Dr Walter Feichtinger, Director of Institute for Peace, Support and Conflict Management and Peter Haider, President Universal Peace Federation.
The AJK president maintained that the United Nations, European Union and the international community were required to play their role for peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue in accordance with the demands of justice to avert possible disastrous war between India and Pakistan.
“Bringing the nuclear armed neighbours round to resolve the dispute through diplomacy and dialogue is indispensable not only for the regional peace but also for global peace and security,” he asserted.
While condemning the prevailing human rights situation in India held Kashmir, the AJK president maintained that the unresolved Kashmir issue was a bigger reality than what had happened in Pulwama and we simply cannot ignore it.
Incidents like Pulwama stemmed from illegal occupation and inhuman treatment of Kashmiri people by Indian occupation forces, he said, adding, when the oppressed people were pushed to the wall through worst ever atrocities, they were bound to react in each possible way.
He, however, appreciated that Indian atrocities on helpless Kashmiris were finally being acknowledged in some international quarters.
In this regard, he termed the UN Human Rights High Commission’s (OHCHR) report on Kashmir as a strong indictment against India and said it had for the first time drawn world attention towards the structures of impunity in occupied Kashmir that operated under the shelter of draconian laws.
A similar report prepared by the UK Parliament's All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) which came on the heels of the OHCHR, also recognised the massive human rights violations and atrocities committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir, he said.
The president also expressed his gratitude to the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for highlighting flagrant human rights abuses in held Kashmir and putting their weight behind the recommendations of OHCHR.
He told the delegation that the Indian army was also brazenly targeting AJK’s civilian population from across the Line of Control in a serious breach of international laws. The shelling had also been causing administrative problems for AJK government as hundreds of families had been forced to flee their homes in vulnerable locations, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Fasslabend said they were visiting AJK to assess the general situation with special focus on recent escalations between India and Pakistan.
“We are happy to know that the tensions have scaled down,” he said and expressed hope that India and Pakistan would be able to resolve their differences through peaceful means in the larger interest of peace and security in the region.
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