Masood calls for nomination of special UN representative on Kashmir and Presents 9-point agenda for peaceful, diplomatic settlement of Kashmir conflict.
Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday called upon UN Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir to find diplomatic ways for ending carnage of Kashmiris and facilitate a just and lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The President said this while addressing the annual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session here in New York.
President AJK in his speech made a fervent appeal to the OIC, on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to use its good offices to urge the United Nations to impress upon India to immediately end human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
President Masood Khan, through the OIC forum also presented the following demands to the international community: a) establishing a Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights situation in IOK; b) the UNSC and HRC should ask India to stop demographic changes in the occupied territory, which are in violation of international law and conventions and constitute war crimes; c) immediate repeal of its two black laws – Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act; d) UNSC to take decisions and activate mechanisms to implement its own resolutions to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite; e) India to withdraw the bulk of its occupation forces from IOK; f) India immediately release leaders of the Joint Resistance Leadership and All Parties Hurriyat Conference, as well as thousands of political prisoners, incarcerated in Indian jails; g) India drop its opposition to dialogue and diplomacy and establish communication with the parties to the dispute, especially Pakistan, the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the United Nations; h) UNMOGIP reports be regularly submitted to the UN Secretary General and the members of the UNSC, and finally; i) UN Secretary General to appoint a Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir who would find diplomatic ways to end carnage of Kashmiris and facilitate a just and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
He said that situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir continues to be grim and gruesome, where the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris continues to be denied and the human rights of the people of the IOK are being trampled by India without accountability.
Earlier this year, he said, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a comprehensive report, which lists a long inventory of ghastly and horrendous violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people. These include killings and blinding of hundreds of people, excessive use of force against peaceful, unarmed civilians, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and systematic use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war. According to the report, Kashmiris’ rights to life, health, education, freedom of expression and access to justice are being violated with impunity.
President Masood Khan fully endorsed the OHCHR’s recommendations to fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law; for India to urgently repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act – the two draconian laws; and establishing a Human Rights Council (HRC) Commission of Inquiry to conduct a comprehensive international investigation into human rights violations in IOK. Sardar Masood Khan also assured that the same probe commission would be welcomed and fully facilitated in Azad Kashmir. He said that India sabotages the work of the United Nations Military Observers Group India Pakistan (UNMOGIP) along the Line of Control.
Welcoming the recent statement of the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, President Masood Khan said that she has rightly voiced her concern about the continuing human rights violation in IOK by saying that, “the people of Kashmir have exactly the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world”.
Expressing his utter dismay over Indian obstinacy and rejecting Pakistan’s offer for talks between Foreign Ministers of both the countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Session, the President said that instead of engagement, Indian leaders, and their army chief, have chosen to fuel war psychosis by threatening Pakistan and Kashmiris with aggression.
Sardar Masood Khan said Kashmiris are beholden to the OIC Secretary General for his support and for convening OIC Contact Group meetings for passing resolutions on the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and calling for an end to human rights violations, year after year.
President Khan also expressed his gratitude to the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) which, last year, published its own report on the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir and condemned India’s attempts to change the demography of the Muslim majority areas urging the United Nations to stop such moves.
President went on to say that people of Jammu and Kashmir welcome the IPHRC’s recommendation to coordinate and collaborate with the Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Solidarity Fund to establish projects for the livelihood, health and education sectors in IOK and in the refugee camps in AJK to provide minimum relief to the victims of Indian repression. The Commission, he said has also urged OIC members to consider using the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement against India if it continues to violate the human rights of Kashmiris.
The event was attended by Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, OIC Secretary General; Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey; and diplomats of member countries.