Altering territory of IOK, a grave violation of international law: Masood Khan

Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has strongly condemned the unilateral and unlawful steps taken by the Indian government to bifurcate the Indian occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir and termed it an illegal and flagrant violation of international law, United Nations Security Council Resolutions, ICC Statutes and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
“India has formally initiated colonial rule, foreign occupation and alien domination in IOK. This is a dark day in the history of IOK and India has taken these steps without the consent of the people and without fulfilling the requirements under the UN Security Council resolutions. These illegal steps will be resisted by the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan with tooth and nail”, he said.
The President made these remarks while addressing a delegation of undertraining junior diplomats from China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The training of the diplomats is being organised by the Foreign Service Academy (FSA) under the rubric of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Practical Cooperation Dialogue. Director General FSA Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokhar was also present during the call on.
The AJK President while addressing his audience termed the recent steps taken by India as a part of the bigger plan to turn Kashmir into a colony of Delhi and to transform the demography of the occupied State in order to make the Muslim majority into a minority by settling non-Muslims and non-Kashmiris from all over India.
The President said that steps taken on August 5 of this year have unleashed a new reign of terror and repression in IOK. Thousands of Kashmiri youth have been detained and are being subjected to torture, political leadership is incarcerated, educational institutions are closed and the whole population of IOK has been forced to remain locked up in their homes. “The situation in IOK is dire”, he added.
Lamenting the ambivalent and cautious approach of major world capitals on Kashmir, the President said that Kashmir is the elephant in the room and in no way can the global community overlook the situation unfolding in the occupied territory. The President, on the other hand, thanked China, Malaysia, Iran and Turkey for speaking up for the Kashmiris and also the world media for presenting a factual narrative of the situation in IOK and helping quash India’s falsehood.
The President informed that a European Parliamentary delegation which recently visited IOK were welcomed with empty streets and were not allowed to meet the political leadership or any common man. This, he said, was an eye-opener for the whole world.
Responding to questions posed by the participants, the President said Pakistan strives for peace and security in the region and in that regard would continue to take concrete steps to make the Afghan Talks a success. “Pakistan, China and Afghanistan are neighbours and are connected through strategic and collective desires for peace, economic and social development”, he said.
Answering to another query, the AJK President said that Pakistan will continue to seek peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the political and diplomatic means proposed under the UNSC resolutions. Furthermore, he said that we should no longer rely on bilateral talks, as India has used this process to buy time and consolidate its illegitimate occupation over IOK.
Speaking to the diplomats, the President urged them to explore new avenues for cooperation between the three neighbouring countries and try to understand the strategic framework for achieving these goals. As diplomats, he said, you all are harbingers of peace and friendship.
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