India is economically strangling Kashmiris in IOJK – Masood Khan

Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the Indian Government is using malicious tactics to economically starve the Kashmiri people into submission. He said that under newly concocted rules Kashmiris have been economically strangled by given contracts of collecting construction material like sand and rock to non-Kashmiris. Furthermore, he said, even the work-force has been imported from India and the Kashmiris have been left devoid of this economic opportunity on the pretext of not having so-called environment safety certificates.

The President made these comments while interacting with students from various leading universities of Islamabad who called on him here at Jammu and Kashmir House. The student delegation was led by Mr. Abdul Basit of International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Speaking to the students, the President emphasized that they should be motivated and have a set ideological direction for leading their lives. He said that the best example for us is the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Masood Khan urged the students to concentrate on character building and ensure integrity, handwork and diligence become the hallmark of their personalities. He said that they should be equipped with the necessary life skills, attain excellence and to excel in their careers.

The President while responding to a question said that the Kashmir freedom struggle has a political, diplomatic and legal dimension to it. He said that considerable effort was already underway on the diplomatic front by Pakistan as the issue continues to be highlighted at the international level. On the political front, he said, the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora community, political leaders of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan, and the member of various political parties are playing an active role which we need to further intensify. “We need to achieve a critical point which would help take the Kashmir issue to a global level. This would make global players take action on the Kashmir issue”, he said.

Masood Khan urged the youth to capitalize on the communication tools that have been provided to them in this modern era like social media platforms. He said that the youth must reach out to their peers, think-tanks, opinion makers and the global civil society by sharing graphic and granular information of the atrocities taking place in the IOJK. “Post and tweet religiously on the situation in IOJK and help engage your followers. In a month this awareness movement would reach to a larger number of social media users”, he said.

The President said that divergences should be minimized and convergence of ideas should be created so that the goal of liberating Kashmiris from occupation could be achieved easily.

The AJK President said that the Indian government has tried every trick in the book to subdue the Kashmiris by using economic blandishments, brutality and bringing up a new political class from time to time. Despite the passage of 73 years, the people have not given up and now India is using demographic change as a mechanism to permanently change the factual situation on the ground. He added that 1.25 million non-Kashmiris have been issued domiciles and the Indian government is working overtime; to the extent that officials are being fined for any delays. 

The President said that academic institutions should focus on compiling research papers on the Kashmir dispute in which historical aspects and future proposals should be discussed academically. He expressed the gratitude of the Kashmiri people towards Pakistan for highlighting the Kashmir dispute and not stepping back from its principled stand since 1947.

Download as PDF