Masood Khan urges Turkey to play the role of mediator to resolve Kashmir dispute

Our Correspondent

Islamabad: Sardar Masood khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the people of Pakistan and Kashmir have reposed their full trust in the Turkish leadership who have recognized the Kashmir matter as not a bilateral one but as an issue between Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “We urge Turkey to play a mediatory role in helping resolve this long-standing dispute”, said the President. The President expressed his deepest gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who in his address to the Pakistani Parliament, in 2017 and 2020, expressed strong solidarity with the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and advocated a diplomatic solution for ascertaining the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination The President said that people of Kashmir are indebted to President Erdogan for raising the Kashmir issue during last year’s United Nations General Assembly in which once again he reiterated a diplomatic resolution to the dispute and during which he sharply criticized India for the steps taken on 5th August that year. The AJK President said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been striving for their liberty and freedom for the past 200 years; first, during the despotic rule of the Maharaja of Kashmir and now after 1947, against India’s rule in the occupied territory. Since 1947, 500,000 Kashmiris have been killed, thousands of women have been raped, young men and women of all ages have been blinded, people are illegally detained in concentration camps, he said. “Since 1989, 100,000 have been killed and the killing continues as we speak today”, said President Masood. Masood Khan said that last year on August 5 India invaded the reoccupied Kashmir and is now trying to turn it into a colony. He added that India has divided the occupied territory into two parts – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – and declared them Union territories, that too without the consent of its people. Furthermore, India has also issued fake maps showing Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and AJK as part of the Indian Union, he lamented. “In a matter of days, 25,000 non state Indians have been granted domiciles of Kashmir. The opening of these flood gates, such importation and immigration of Hindus from all over India and settling them in Kashmir to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory is akin to the model adopted in West Bank, Palestine”, he said. The AJK President said that India is now also threatening Pakistan with war through the use of nuclear weapons with threats of military action against AJK and GB. “There is also a rise of Islamophobia in India which also has a direct and indirect impact on Muslims majority IOJK”, he said. Commenting on the recent clash between India and China in Galwan Valley, the President said that this standoff has made the situation in IOJK more turbulent. China has objected to steps taken by India on August 5 and especially of making Ladakh a union territory, he said. “Because of the situation in Ladakh, Kashmir has been further internationalized”, he maintained. President Masood said that another power-game has started in the Asia-Pacific region and on the line of actual control where attempts have been made to encircle China. In this situation, he said, the United States would give rhetorical help to India but it would not help it militarily against China despite the statements given by the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “China and India would eventually have to resort to diplomacy to defuse tensions”, he said. The President urged the Turkish leadership to explore prospects of humanitarian diplomacy in IOJK in the same manner they had successfully done in Somalia and the Philippines. He said that Pakistan will be ready to help but Turkey should not take India’s no as an answer and help the Kashmiris who are passing through the darkest hour of their history. Masood Khan thanked the Turkish people, media, political parties, academics and civil society for their continuing support to the Kashmir issue. He said that he had attended numerous conferences on Kashmir hosted by Turkish organizers like the seminal conference on “Kashmir Turmoil, Emerging Threats to Peace and the Role of International Community” co-organized by the Strategic Thinking Institute and Lahore Center for Peace Research.