Member British Parliament and Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons Mr. Afzal Khan called on Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Kashmir here at Jammu and Kashmir House.
Both the leaders discussed the deteriorating situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and also called for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Jammu Kashmir guaranteeing the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.
During a press briefing following the meeting, the President called for the immediate halt of rapid demographic change taking place in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said that after taking the unilateral steps on August 5 last year and introducing the New Domicile Rules, the Indian government has adopted a policy of land grab and lebensraum by introducing the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020. These rules, he said, allows any Indian citizen to buy land in the disputed region and also allow the lands acquired by the government for industrial or commercial purposes to be disposed of or sold to any Indian.
The AJK President said that the priority, right now, is ceasing the rapid population transfer, whereby in a matter of a few months, around 2 million non-State Hindus from all over India have been granted domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that at this pace the Muslim majority of Jammu Kashmir would be made a minority in the next 2-3 years.
President Masood Khan said that Kashmir is going through the darkest period of its history. He said that Kashmiris are being killed, maimed, blinded and incarcerated under draconian laws like the Public Safety Act. “There is no political representation of the Kashmiris as the true leadership is jailed. The non-Kashmiri Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary are directly executing decisions issued from Delhi”, he said.
Masood Khan thanked the members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir belonging to various British political parties for raising awareness on Kashmir and issuing a report on Kashmir. He said that British MPs, especially from the Labour Party have helped raise the Kashmir issue by holding debates, both in the House of Commons and House of Lords. He said that the British Government and the FCO continues to give benign statements and distances itself from the dispute by terming it as a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India. He said that British MPs, the diaspora community and the British civil society have to engage the British government and the FCO to take up the Kashmir dispute in the UNSC.
MP Afzal Khan said that the violations taking place in IOJK is at a massive level, the likes of which we have not seen in recent decades. He said that the UK has a historical key role in resolving the Kashmir dispute. He also acknowledged the role of the diaspora community in raising the Kashmir issue and said that political parties along with the British citizenry would strive to further strengthen advocacy on Kashmir in the UK.
Afzal Khan said that even after exiting the European Parliament, the former British MEPs would continue to use their contacts and continue to engage other MEPs in helping keep the Kashmir issue alive in the European Parliament.