No sectarian divide, discrimination in AJK: Masood

Our Correspondent

MUZAFFARABAD: President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan on Thursday said that commendable sectarian harmony prevails in Azad Kashmir and there has been no divide or discrimination on the basis of Sunni and Shiite in the state. He expressed his resolve to maintain the unity in upcoming Muharam-ul-Haram along with taking all preventive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus during Eid-ul-Adha and Ashoora processions. “All of us are unanimous on Islam, and complete unity will be demonstrated on the occasions of the upcoming Eidul Adha and Ashura,” he declared. The President was addressing through video link a meeting of the governors and religious scholars of all the four provinces of Pakistan, as well as ulema from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, chaired by President of Pakistan Dr Mohammad Arif Alvi. The conference was also addressed besides provincial governors, by the Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri and the Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, while in Muzaffarabad the new AJK Chief Secretary Dr Shehzad Khan Bangash and other senior officials besides ulema attended the session through video link. In his address, the AJK president said that the people had full freedom to live according to their thoughts and beliefs, and the state was the custodian of the life and property of people of all schools of thought. He, however, lamented that on the other side of the Line of Control in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, our brothers and sisters were not only being kept deprived of religious freedom but the right to live was also being denied to them. Tragically, he maintained that the Muslims were not allowed to go to the mosques and hold Majalis-e-Aza but the Indian Hindus were free to perform Amarnath Yatra in the held territory. The AJK president said that in order to change the demography of the Muslim majority state of Kashmir, more than 32,000 Indian Hindus have been issued the domicile of Kashmir during the last two months while the state subjects are being deprived of their entity. “The youth are being subjected to target killings under the garb of fake encounters on a daily basis or they are being arrested and severely tortured in jails,” he pointed out. He called upon the participants of the meeting chaired by the Pakistan President to, besides approving a resolution against the Indian brutalities in occupied Kashmir, pray to Allah to rid the Kashmiri people of the Indian imperialistic repression at the earliest. About coronavirus, the AJK president said that the situation was fully under control in Azad Kashmir, and due to effective measures taken by the state government, more than 1,000 affected people have recovered against the deaths of 46 people. He said that all possible preventive measures will be adopted during Eidul Adha and Asuhra Muharram to contain the spread of the pandemic.