Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has said that not only close friendly relations exist between Pakistan and Turkey, but the hearts of the people of the two countries also beat together, and they have always stood shoulder to shoulder with each other in every test of time.
He expressed these views while addressing a function organized by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Kashmir Education Foundation here on Wednesday.
Sardar Masood Khan, on the behalf of people and the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, expressed gratitude for the people and the government of Turkey particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for being the first to reach the quake hit areas in 2005, and contributing to rescue, relief and rehabilitation work under the unprecedented spirit of Islamic fraternity and love.
The AJK president said that the Turkish people had established universities, hospitals and a number of educational institutions in the liberated territory, and President Erdoğan had personally visit Azad Kashmir which reveals the best relations existing between the Kashmiri people and their Turkish counterparts.
The state president particularly thanked the Turkish president for bolding supporting Kashmir cause in recent days, and said that the Turkish president was as popular in Pakistan as he was in his own country.
Welcoming cooperation between TIKA and the Kashmir Education Foundation, Sardar Masood Khan expressed the hope that both the organizations will jointly play an active role in the promotion of quality education in the liberated territory.
The AJK president also invited the Turkish ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul and his wife to pay a visit to Rawalakot to personally witness quality education being imparted in a local school.
The function was also addressed by the Turkish ambassador in Pakistan and the TIKA country director.
Meanwhile, addressing a conference on "Peace and Development in South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia" held here on Wednesday under the auspices of Islamabad Policy Research Institute, the AJK president warned that if the international community failed to resolve the Kashmir issue through peaceful political means in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, the Kashmiri people would once again be compelled to pick the gun which may prove to be disastrous for the region particularly India itself. "In spite of apathy of the international community and the United Nations, the Kashmir issue remains a reality, and it is not possible to shut eyes from it," he cautioned.
He said that the Kashmiri people have been fighting the war for their freedom and their rights for the last more than 200 years, and they are determined to continue to struggle for their freedom and realization of right of self-determination in spite of all out problems and difficulties. Regrettably, India does not recognize Kashmir a disputed territory. However, Pakistan's stand is that Kashmir an internationally recognized disputed territory, and the Un Security Council has adopted several resolutions for the solution of Kashmir issue, he added.
Sardar Masood Khan regretted that the governments of Europe and North America instead of condemning India's Kashmir policy, have been engaged in appeasing India. It is time for Pakistan to constantly draw the attention of the international community particularly India's civil society, and muster its support on the issues, he concluded.