Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, met today here to take stock of the deteriorating situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and strongly condemned the provocative statements given by the Indian government and the Indian army chief, who are working in collusion, to brutalize and suppress the Kashmiri people.
The President said that Indian occupation forces had turned IOK into a war zone where unarmed, non-combatant civilians were being mowed down in the wicked and barbaric cordon and search operations. The latest victim of these operations is a youth in Bandipora. India, he said, is meting out this collective punishment on the Kashmiri population because of their demand for freedom, justice and self-determination, which is their birthright. When the peaceful people of Kashmir demand a just, political and negotiated settlement of the internationally recognized Jammu and Kashmir dispute, India retaliates by killing Kashmiri youth, blinding them by the use of pellet guns, arbitrarily arresting and then torturing Kashmiris, and abducting them and destroying their houses and means of livelihood.
The President that India’s rejection of a mutually agreed meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and India, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, was driven by strong resistance from the ruling BJP party in India and RSS Hindu extremists. He said that such offers, made in good faith by Pakistan now and in the past, underline Pakistan’s commitment to dialogue and diplomacy in the quest for all avenues for a lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, whereas India wants to resolve this issue through the use of state terrorism and brute force against Kashmiris. “Kashmiris want peace and peaceful means to resolve the dispute”, he said.
India, he said, wants to plunge the region into warmongering and brinkmanship to divert attention from its horrendous human rights violations in IOK and to bide time to avert a lasting resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Our worst apprehension is that India is deliberately making offensive and inflammatory statements to intensify its repression in Kashmir, said President Masood.
President Azad Kashmir and the Prime Minister Azad Kashmir endorsed the three recommendations of the UN Human Rights Commission’s report: a) India to respect the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people ; b) repeal of the two draconian laws – Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act – that empower Indian Security Forces to commit human rights violations with impunity and c) Human Rights Council to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir. They also discussed ways and means to intensify political and diplomatic campaign for the self-determination of the Kashmiris and an end to the Indian repression in the occupied territory.
The Prime Minister informed the President that a commission for the overseas Kashmiris has been established which would work to address the grievances of overseas Azad Kashmiris and give them incentives to invest in Azad Kashmir. The purpose, said the Prime Minister, would be to provide an enabling environment for the diaspora community to reconnect with their families and invest in Azad Kashmir and promote tourism. They also discussed matters related to the 13th Amendment.