MUZAFFARABAD: Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has welcomed the motion tabled in New South Wales Parliament of Australia to express concern over human rights violations and calling for respect to the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “We appeal to the mover of the motion David Shoebridge, other MPs and the members of the Australian civil society to convince the Australian Government to support the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to speak up against the crimes against humanity being committed by the Indian Government and the occupation army in the held territory,” he said. Addressing a webinar on the completion of one year of India’s illegal actions in occupied Kashmir organized by Pakistan High Commission in Australia, the state president said that Australia was an important country of the Oceania region which cannot remain indifferent to the happenings in Kashmir. The lead speakers included President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, former Australian Senator Ms Lee Rhiannon, David Shoebridge, Member of the Legislative Council in the New South Wales Parliament, Dr Claude Rakisits, Hon. Associate Professor ANU, Professor Samina Yasmin, Director Centre for the Muslim States and Societies, and High Commissioner for Pakistan, Mr Babar Amin. The webinar was attended by many scholars, intellectuals, journalists, members of Kashmir Solidarity Council, Pakistani community and Australians from all states and territories. A significant number also physically participated in the event at the High Commission of Pakistan Canberra, while observing the COVID distancing regulations. President Masood in his speech said that the recent illegal actions taken by India in occupied Jammu and Kashmir should open the eyes of the whole world as what India is doing in the disputed territory is an open war against humanity and the human values, he added. The AJK President said that although the world is largely aware of the brutalities being perpetrated by India against the defenceless and innocent people in Kashmir, but many important countries are silent and tightlipped because of their political, strategic and economic interests. That is why he maintained, India was stubbornly trampling human rights and international humanitarian laws in occupied Kashmir, and has become a big danger for the peace and security of the world. Sardar Masood Khan lamented that the silence of influence and powerful countries was further encouraging India, and explained that the ongoing struggle in occupied Kashmir was not a secessionist movement but this is a struggle for upholding human values and human dignity. He dealt in detail with the agonies being faced by the besieged people of occupied Kashmir for the last one year and the illegal Indian actions to change the demography of the state, and said that India was doing all this in order to silence the voices rising for freedom and the right of self-determination in the held territory. The AJK President stressed participants of the webinar to convey the voice of the oppressed people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the MPs, government officials, media and the civil society of Australia.
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