Islamabad: Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the minorities living in AJK enjoy equal rights and have all the rights of State subjects. Unlike India, minorities in Pakistan and AJK are treated with love, respect and dignity, he said. “For us, a minority is a statistical representation and is in no way a factor towards discrimination of citizens belonging to any religions or beliefs”, he said The AJK President made these remarks while addressing a conference organized by BTM Global on World Minority Day here at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services. The event was also attended and addressed by Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Mr. Shehryar Khan Afridi, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Pervez Ashraf, Member National Assembly Ramesh Kumar, Member Provincial Assembly Mr. Ranjheet Singh, President of the National Council of Churches in Pakistan Dr. Azad Marshall and Chairman BTM Global Ms. Sumaira Farrukh. President Masood Khan said that all humans have been created equal and there is no discrimination between people of various race, colour and religion. He said that the teachings of Islam have clearly said that all humanity is equal. The President said that Pakistan and AJK have integrated the minorities in the mainstream with considerable success. He added that we will continue to engage religious leaders of minorities to help address their issues. Turning to India’s maltreatment of minorities, the President said that when we say India, we do not refer to the 1.3 billion Indians but refer to the current government in power run by BJP and RSS, who propagate Hindu extremism, fanaticism and fascism. This regime excludes all other non-Hindu monitories from the whole of the Subcontinent. They are in the process of disenfranchising the minorities, especially the Muslims living in India by introducing exclusionary measures like the Citizen Amendment Act, the National Population Register and for the Muslims of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), they have implemented the New Domicile Rules. Not only this, but he also added, the BJP-RSS regime has targeted the Dalits. The President going into detail and informing his audience of the treatment being meted out to Kashmiris in the IOJK, said that the people of Kashmir have been killed, maimed, tortured, forcibly disappeared, incarcerated and tortured. Last century, we saw such gruesome scenes in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy but in this day and age we see this in IOJK as Muslim Kashmiris are being rounded up for extermination. “The only reason for this is that they are Muslims. It has become a sin to be a Muslim in IOJK. The Indian regime has failed to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris even after taking brutal measures for the past 72 years. Now, they are changing this Muslim majority in the State into a minority”, said Masood Khan The President giving a message to the minorities of IOJK said, “The Dogras, the Pundits, the Sikhs, Hindus of all castes and the Buddhists are an integral part of the Kashmiri fabric. They are equal citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and they will never be ‘othered’ like they have been made so in mainland India”. The President thanked the organizers for opening up this space for Kashmir and praised the various speakers who raised very important points during the conference.
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