Masood Khan lauds role of diaspora community in raising awareness on Kashmir
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the area of Azad Kashmir – freed by the people of this land – acts as a defensive bastion for all of Pakistan. He added that if it were not for Azad Kashmir, Indian forces would have been standing right at Kohala and Azad Pattan, leaving Pakistan exposed to them.
The AJK President made these comments while addressing an event organized by the Pakistani-Kashmiri diaspora community here in Maryland.
Speaking to his audience the President commended the role of the diaspora community in the US for reaching out to American lawmakers and media highlighting the plight of the Kashmiris and the human rights violations taking place in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The President stated that since August 5, the situation has drastically changed in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) as India has again invaded the territory and sent additional 180,000 troops to the occupied territory. India has planned to colonize the territory and permanently alter the status of Kashmir, he added.
The President said that it has been 56 days since the people of Kashmir have been imprisoned in their homes under a security lockdown and commination blackout. He said that India forces continue to arrest innocent Kashmiris and the women are being molested and harassed.
He said that despite the fact that major global capitals have remained tight lipped yet the international media and lawmakers of powerful countries including the US have spoken out in support of the Kashmiris.
The AJK President said that in the previous years, Members of European Parliament were reluctant to talk about Kashmir due to the fear of offending India, but this year they have convened hearings on Kashmir and formally discussed the issue at their Strasbourg Plenary Session.
The President praised the organizers of the recently rally that was successfully held in New York. He said that people from all walks of life and various religions had participated in the rally and gave a clear message to the world exposing the Indian government and its illegal actions in IOK.
He urged the diaspora community to continue to take pragmatic steps in raising the plight of Kashmiris by reaching out to their elected representatives. He said that they should actively write to their representatives and create awareness on Kashmir. He said that communications on this issue will play a positive role in influencing opinion.
India, he said, has propagated a false narrative relating to Kashmir. He said that the international media has now presented a factual representation of the happening taking place in IOK rejecting India's falsehood. He said that we must take advantage of this critical space that has been provided to us in relation to Kashmir.
Towards the end, President AJK said that in his recent meetings with Congresspersons Sheila Jackson and Al Green, he urged them to raise the Kashmir issue in their respective committee meetings including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and to highlight the plight of the Kashmiris.
He said that the people of Kashmir are the key constituents to the Kashmir issue and no solution to the dispute would be possible without their consent.
The issue of Kashmir is alive because of the sacrifices of the Kashmiris, the role of Azad Kashmir as the base camp of this struggle and Pakistan's steadfast stance on Kashmir.
He urged his audience that unity amongst our ranks is pertinent and to work towards strengthening Pakistan. He said Pakistan is the only sovereign diplomatic window for the Kashmiris and a strong Pakistan would mean a strong case for Kashmir
The event was also addressed by Sardar Azad Khan, Professor Sardar Irshad, Dr. Ikhlaq Barlas, Dr. Ashique and Sardar Zulfiqar. The speakers urged taking up concerted efforts to effectively raise the profile of the Kashmir issue. The event was attended by a large number of members belonging to the Pakistan-Kashmir diaspora community.