HR situation in IOK dire; time for decision making on Kashmir has arrived: Masood Khan
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the international community looks the other way when it comes to Kashmir ultimately further emboldening India to take up more systematic steps to enforce its draconian measures in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The situation in IOK is nothing less than catastrophic, he said while adding that Kashmir is passing through the darkest period in all of its history.
The President made these comments while interacting with various representatives from CNN Turk, Cumhuriyet, TRT, Ulusal Kanal, Türkiye, Sabah, Milli Gazete and Milliyet upon his arrival here in Ankara.
The AJK President said that the people of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir are ready to resolve the Kashmir issue through peaceful diplomatic means and under the auspices of the United Nations. Despite all these options that are available, India continues to refuse to talk to the Kashmiris and Pakistan or in that case refer the issue to the United Nations. India recently opposed the convening of the UN Security Council session on Kashmir claiming it is an internal matter. We must, he urged, explore diplomatic means to resolve the issue as the situation has become a grave humanitarian crisis.
President Masood Khan said that India has, on August 5, reoccupied and bifurcated the Jammu and Kashmir territory, and is now in the process of colonizing this area through land grab thereby violating existing international law and conventions. Young Kashmiris are being rounded up and sent to prison houses all over India, movement of any sort has been banned, schools are closed, women are molested and rape is being used as an instrument of war, he informed.
The settlement of the Hindu population in IOK is a grave violation of international humanitarian law and is a crime against humanity. He said that there is a systemized genocide taking place in IOK and US-based Genocide Watch has already warned that according to its Ten Stages of the genocidal process, the situation in Kashmir is far advanced.
The UN, he said, under its own Security Council resolutions, must step forward and allow the people to exercise their right to self-determination. The matter of Jammu and Kashmir, he added, is a UN-recognized dispute and the international community must persuade India from taking unilateral steps in the disputed territory and make them come back to the dialogue table.
“We should not close doors on diplomatic processes. We thank Turkey for its role in vocally advocating diplomacy and talks. We welcome any facilitation or mediation from Turkey”, he said.
The President during his interview thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for speaking in support for the Kashmiri people during his address to the UN General Assembly, calling for a dialogue on Kashmir and resolving the dispute on the basis of justice and equity, and not through collision.
The response of the United Nations has been disappointing, he said. Beyond holding an informal session on Kashmir the UN has been complacent and according to the UN Charter it is their core responsibility to stem ongoing genocide taking place in IOK and the drift towards war as evident from the threatening statements issued by the Indian Prime Minister, their Army Chief and leading BJP and RSS leaders.
The President thanked the OIC for its strong statement on the situation in IOK during the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir held on the sidelines of the UNGA and in its resolution criticizing of the prolonged curfew imposed in the territory post, August 5.
The AJK President praised the role of the Turkish media for its very proactive role in creating awareness on Kashmir. He said the leadership of Turkey is quite aware of the horrendous situation in IOK and this visit will focus on appealing to opinion-makers and leaders in Turkey to play a role and act as a catalyst by using their influence with India to stop the killings taking place in IOK. He added that we also request the Turkish leadership to pursue humanitarian diplomacy and explore any space to help alleviate the sufferings of the Kashmiris.
“We have reached a stage that influential countries including Turkey should use their clout to move from awareness-raising on Kashmir to decision making to help the Kashmiris achieve their right to self-determination”, he said.
The President said that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir aspire for economic development and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a catalyst that has positively affected the people of this region. He said that China has been working closely with Pakistan for the implementation of the CPEC projects and the projects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will play a constructive role in taking numerous nations closer to their economic goals.