Masood urges UN to enforce its resolutions on Kashmir
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the 200 year old struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to get freedom and justice would not be crushed by India.
He made these remarks while addressing the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations on the subject “Pakistan’s Strategic Neighbourhood”, at a conference which was also addressed by Council Chairman Ikram Sehgal, Council Secretary General Huma Baqi and Ambassador (r) Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Executive Director of the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS).
The President recalled that in 1832 the people of Poonch had risen against the oppressive rule of Raja Gulab Singh and as punishment their leaders Sabz Ali and Malli Khan were skinned above and bodies were hung on a tree in Mang.
Sardar Shams Khan, the leader of the revolt, was beheaded. The heroic deeds of these freedom fighters are sung in ballads in the territory; and the monument of Sabz Ali and Malli Khan at Mang is a testimony to the resilience of the Kashmiris against oppression.
He also reminded his audience about the uprising of Kashmiri Muslims in 1931 against Mahrajah Hari Singh’s policies of terrorism, exorbitant taxes and slave labour towards the Muslim population who constituted the majority in the state.
On July 13, as Abdul Qadeer was being tried for call to end the reign of “injustice, cruelty and subjugation”, 22 people embraced martyrdom to complete Azan (the prayer call) outside the court room where he was being tried for sedition and treason.
In 1947, the people of Jammu of Kashmir saw a ray of hope to be free themselves from the Mahrajah’s oppression by being part of the newly created state of Pakistan, with which they had a geographical, historical and ideological affinities.
But through fraud, conspiracy and use of brute force, the territory of the State was occupied by India; and to maintain its illegal writ it oversaw massacre of 237,000 people in just two months (October and November 1947) and a pogrom of half of million people who were pushed to Pakistan.
The President said that since then half a million people have laid down their lives for keeping the flame of liberty and freedom alive. The rainbow of self-determination has eluded them but they have vowed that they would not relent or compromise to accept India’s occupation and oppression.
The President said that the logjam on Kashmir in multilateral diplomacy must be broken to help Kashmiris put an end to Indian atrocities and choose their political future through peaceful and democratic means.
He emphasized that if the United States and the Taliban, after fighting for the last seventeen years can start negotiations, why is India not being asked to start political and diplomatic talks with Pakistan and the Kashmiris to resolve the Kashmir dispute?
He urged the United Nations to start a diplomatic process on Kashmir on the basis of its own resolutions and in pursuance of Articles 33 and 34 of its own Charter. A special envoy of the UN should be appointed to start and steer such a process, he said.
President Masood Khan said that Pakistan is destined to become a great economic and a pivotal political power and Kashmiris will share that destiny with Pakistan.
He thanked Pakistan for its steadfast support to the Kashmir cause despite existential threats it has faced. A stronger Pakistan will guarantee attainment of self-determination by the people of Kashmir.
The AJK President said that the world order was changing and soon the technological revolution would wipe out the remaining vestiges of colonialism such as being practiced by India in Kashmir.
The President said that talking about innovative and out of box solution without securing India’s agreement to engage is like conducting a diplomatic monologue and is tantamount to making unilateral concessions.