Masood Khan appeals to US people to save Kashmiris and Kashmir
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Kashmir, addressed a large gathering of Americans, from different walks of life, at the prestigious Harvard Club today (the event was hosted by Ms. Nadia Malik). Calling the United States “a shining city upon the hill’, as conceived by its founding fathers, he appealed to American citizens to step forward to defend the rights of the people of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, who were bearing the brunt of Indian terror, aggression and colonization since August 5, 2019.
The President said that like the United States, the Kashmiris had fought a war of independence in 1947 during which they were able to liberate only a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, before India moved in and occupied a big chunk of its territory. That liberated territory, he said, is now called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan which focuses on education, good governance and economic development; whereas the Indian occupied territory has been subjected to brutalization since 1947.
The President apprised his audience about the horrendous and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He briefed them that the territory had been under siege for the past 54 days during which thousands of civilians had been detained who are being tortured mercilessly in prison houses resembling concentration camps. People who are resisting India’s occupation and are demanding their freedom and self-determination are being killed, blinded, maimed, tortured and disappeared. Women have been molested and raped and are being threatened with sexual violence. They are being treated as spoils of war by the occupation forces.
The United States, he said, had led the world to shape the new world order symbolized by the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He urged the US civil society to save that order by rescuing the Kashmiris who were facing genocide and annihilation. “Last century, Jews were targeted by a systematic genocide. Would this time Kashmiris be dehumanized and eliminated by India’s violent extremist doctrine of Hindutva and the world would stand idly by?” he inquired.
President Masood Khan warned that a war between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, which is very much possible, could escalate to the nuclear level and imperil the entire globe. India’s aggression in IOK and its war hysteria is pushing the region to the brink of war. That war must be averted by mounting pressure on India to restore the fundamental rights of Kashmiris and walk back from its aggressive supremacist agenda, he emphasized.
“Kashmiris do not want to be seen as a nuclear flashpoint but a symbol of amity and connectivity. All they want is restoration of their identity and exercise of their right to self-determination”, he said.
The US, he said, in this regard can play a leadership role by making a moral choice to protect the rights of the Kashmiris and putting them above its legitimate economic and strategic ties with India.
Responding to a question about the offer of mediation by President Donald Trump, President Masood Khan said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, in principle, welcome all forms of diplomacy, including third party mediation. But such a process, he said, should not be disingenuous and it should put Kashmiris at the centre of any such process. “Kashmir diplomacy sans Kashmiris will neither be acceptable nor successful”, he said.
He said the US Government, which sits in the UN Security Council as a permanent member and represents its people as the pre-eminent global leader, should work with other permanent members to find a just and definitive dispensation of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is the key cause of unrelenting turbulence in the region.