Kashmiris will have to fight Aug 5 reoccupation for existence: President

Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Terming the August 5 incident as reoccupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan Wednesday said that a war has been imposed on Kashmiris and they will have to fight this war for their existence. “This is a war for our sovereignty; for protecting our cultural and religious identity, and the rights of our Kashmir brothers and sisters,” he further said. The President made these remarks while addressing a web-conference on “Solidarity with Kashmir during Covid-19 and lockdown effects on Kashmir and Pakistan” organized by the National Youth Empowerment (NYE). Students from Lahore and Sahiwal were present at the conference. Abdullah Hamid Gul, Chief Patron NYE, also addressed the conference. The AJK president said that many still are not aware of the gravity of the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, especially post-August 5, when India re-occupied the disputed territory. India, he said, has even issued fake maps showing AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan as part of India. “These fake maps are now available all over the internet”, he said while condemning these actions as a grave violation of international law and UN SC resolutions. Masood Khan said that IOJK despite being an internationally recognized the disputed territory has been divided into two parts – Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir – by the Indian government and that too without the consent of the people living there. Resultantly, he said, India has brought these two newly divided areas under the direct control of Delhi and in turn inadvertently internationalized Kashmir. “The area now occupied by India is actually a part of Pakistan as its people had wished to accede to Pakistan and despite all efforts of India to coerce them into submission they have rejected their rule and writ”, said President Masood. Terming August 5 and October 31 actions taken by India in IOJK as lebensraum, irredentism and expansionism, the President said that the rights to permanent residence, ownership of property, livelihoods and education – as protected by international law – have been usurped by Delhi. The President informed his audience of the dire situation in IOJK. He said that according to a recent report, over 13,000 Kashmiri boys have been picked up by Indian forces. These young Kashmiris – some as young as 9 years-old – have been imprisoned in prison houses all over IOJK and northern India where they are being subjected to unimaginable torture. Under the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous Kashmiris have been killed in staged encounters and so-called cordon and search operations. “The Kashmiris people are fighting for their lives and this act of self-defence is an inherent right acknowledged in the UN Charter [Article 51]”, he said. Masood Khan said that not only are Kashmiris being targeted but under the fascist rule of the RSS-BJP regime, Muslims all over India are being lynched, mobbed and – under the Citizen Amendment Act – are at risk of becoming stateless. Responding to a question, the President said that the recent standoff between China and India has exposed the latter’s incapacity to face an equal military power. Having lived in China for eight years during his diplomatic career, the President said that he had the opportunity to witness the steely resolve of the Chinese people. He added that the People’ Liberation Army is a far more professional, committed and resolute army as compared to the Indian army. “India has never triumphed in a war with an equal. Their experience entails fighting and killing its own people, and that too after disarming them”, he said.