New York: May 12; Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the diaspora community in the US is playing an important role in projecting Kashmiris’ voices for end to the repression in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and for the realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He also expressed the hope that the community would continue to work for improving Pakistan-US relations in all spheres of life because these relations were in the interest of both the countries and were vital for regional peace and stability.

The AJK President made these remarks while addressing a gathering of community members in New York hosted by the Pakistani American Society of New York (PASNY). He told his audience that the people of Kashmir have vowed that they would continue their peaceful struggle until they get their freedom.

Paying tribute to the Pakistan-American community in the US, President Masood Khan said that the number of Pakistan community ranges between 700,000 and one million and this number was increasing. According to a study, he said, the Pakistani-American community was not only doing well, its income percentile was favourably comparable to that of the American middle class.

Pakistani-Americans, he said, were now actively participating in American politics, doing well economically and were well integrated into the social fabric of their country of adoption. This has given them a good platform for raising consciousness in America about the human rights of Kashmiris and reaching out to official and non-official representatives for an end to the relentless oppression in Kashmir and protection of the Kashmiris’ rights by the international community.

President Khan said that Kashmir was not a bilateral issue, as projected by India, but a trilateral dispute between Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It was also an international dispute that is to be settled in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions, which has mandated a plebiscite to ascertain the political aspirations of the Kashmiris people.

The President urged the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, to take cognizance of the grave security and human rights situation in the IOK.

Kashmiris, he said, were peaceful and peace-loving people; they abhorred violence in all forms and were demanding from the world that they should be saved from the state-sponsored violence and terrorism being committed by the Indian occupation forces which are resulting in massive killings, blindings, maiming, torture and arbitrary detentions.

The President said how in this difficult and dark hour, the people of Jammu and Kashmir were expressing their solidarity with Pakistan. It was the responsibility of all freedom loving people, especially the people of Pakistan, to demonstrate their political and diplomatic solidarity with the people of Kashmir and make efforts to save them from their plight.

“Strive for making Pakistan a strong nation; because only a strong Pakistan can guarantee a just and lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute”, he said.

President Masood Khan also invited Pakistan Americans to visit Azad Kashmir for tourism and to see for themselves the work being done for development and good governance in the state.

Earlier, the AJK President gave an interview to Fox TV on the prevalent situation in Kashmir and the way forward.


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