Islamabad: Shehryar Afridi, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, today called on Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir at Kashmir House. On the occasion, the President congratulated him on assuming his responsibility. During the interaction, the two leaders discussed the latest situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, genesis of the Kashmir issue and its international dynamics. President Masood Khan while apprising the Chairman of Indian Occupied Kashmir said that the situation in the territory is deteriorating rapidly. He said that extra judicial killings of Kashmiris are being carried out every day under the guise of cordon and search operations. “Killings, arbitrary arrests, maiming and sexual violence is rampant”, he said. The President said that under the New Domicile Rules, the Indian government has opened the flood gates for Hindu settlers from all over India. Just recently, 25,000 non-State residents were issued domiciles. He added that these steps have deprived the local Kashmiris of their livelihood, right to acquisition of property and educational seats reserved exclusively for their children. The AJK President said that we should synergize our strengths at the national level to garner support for the Kashmir cause at the international realm. He added that we should reach out to the global civil society, diaspora community, leading international parliaments and the academia. “Approach the International Parliamentary Union, the ASEAN parliaments, APPKG-UK and the European Parliament through both formal and informal diplomatic channels”, he said. He added that Pakistan should take the lead on Kashmir and present the true narrative on Kashmir. The Chairman assured that not only will we be engaging with international parliaments and their leaders but also major universities and academics will be approached both inside and outside the country. The President said that effective communication is the key and we must highlight Indian atrocities taking place in IOJK at the global level. He added that media houses in Pakistan also have to be sensitized to help further raise the profile of the Kashmir issue. Masood Khan while appreciating Shehryar Khan’s dynamic political presence said that he should engage the political base of his party and reach out to all the political parties of Pakistan to help mobilize support for ascertaining the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. Chairman Kashmir Committee assured the President that the committee will call upon all stakeholders to make it more inclusive. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolute and unyielding stand on the Kashmir cause and the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris. The President said that the people of Kashmir will not capitulate to India’s intimidation and they will attain freedom from Indian occupation. He thanked Pakistan for its principled stance on Kashmir and for advocating their cause internationally.
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