Kashmir is a powder keg in South Asia; Resolve it for enduring peace and stability, Masood Khan

Washington DC.,“We feel the pain of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters. Their wounds are our wounds,” Ambassador Masood Khan said while addressing a special event to observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day here in Embassy of Pakistan Washington DC.“Kashmir is the keystone of foundations of Pakistan. It cannot be separated from us,” he said.Masood Khan said that people of Pakistan have made huge sacrifices while fighting the case of Kashmir since the inception of the country. “We are not fighting this war for a piece of a land but because it is our moral and legal responsibility. We are fighting for the inalienable right to self-determination of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that was promised to them by the UN Security Council resolutions and by the international community,” said the Ambassador. “The Kashmiris are the most disenfranchised people on the face of the earth. They are victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing,” he said.“Kashmir is a powder keg in South Asia that threatens regional peace and stability,” said the Ambassador.“It is the responsibility of international community to save them. I appeal to your conscience. We appeal to your convening power to come to the rescue of the people of illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” he observed. The Chief Guest of the event Mr. Lars Rise, former Member of Norwegian Parliament, speaking on the occasion, said that that we must stand and protest for the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. He pointed out that the right to self-determination was not only promised to the Kashmiri people by UNSC but the Indian Prime Minister Nehru had also made the pledge to the Kashmiris. “It is a sad day that even after 77 years we are still talking about lack of this right,” he said. Highlighting the situation in illegally occupied territory especially after 05 August 2019, Mr. Rise said that there was denial of basic human rights and communication blockade in the territory. “So now we can say that Kashmir is like gun powder. It’s a very dangerous situation,” he said.Kashmir should never be a forgotten conflict for the international community, said the ex-Norwegian MP. “Let us pool our resources and resources in order to make the international community listen to the very important voices from Kashmir,” Mr. Rise said.Dr. Imtiaz Hussain, Professor George Washington University, in his speech highlighted the harrowing crimes of the Indian forces against innocent women and children of Kashmir. He highlighted that India was making demographic changes in the occupied territory and was trying to reduce Muslim majority into minority. Dr. Imtiaz pointed out that India was also destroying the environment of the region and “the paradise of Kashmir has been transformed into a living prison for the Kashmiris.” He also pointed out the need for unity in Muslim countries over the issue of Kashmir. He suggested establishment of Kashmir Chairs in renowned universities of the world. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed in his recorded video message said that the situation in Kashmir coincided with Gaza. He said that India has been exposed as a state sponsoring cross border terrorism. He also noted transformation of India into Hindutva state. Senator Mushahid Syed said that international media and human rights organizations have been highlighting the atrocities being committed by Indian government to suppress the voices of Kashmiris. He lauded the courage and resilience of Kashmir men and women for being steadfast in their indigenous, spontaneous and widespread struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination. Mr. Mowahid Hussain Syed, Attorney at Law, speaking on the occasion underscored the need for ‘empowered mindset’ at international level that could assess what needs to be done regarding the issue of Kashmir. Quoting example of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and other similar issues, he observed that raising awareness would help activating civil society to stand up for a just cause. He opined that climate was conducive to present Kashmir case before the international community.Mr. Afzal Khan, Member UK Parliament, in his recorded message observed that international community especially the great powers including UK have a moral responsibility to help addressing the issue of Jammu & Kashmir. Expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir, he assured his continued support to the just cause of Kashmir and to redouble his efforts for raising awareness about the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. Mr. Ilyas Masih, representing Pak-American Christian Community, in his remarks called upon the participants to raise awareness about the plight of Kashmiris especially in youth. Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja, Executive Director of Center for International Strategic Studies Azad Jammu & Kashmir, in her message said that Kashmiris are suffering subjugation for past 76 years yet they are determined. “Even after 76 years, India is illegitimate entity in Kashmir” she said. Dr. Asma said that history bears testimony to the fact that illegal occupation has to come to an end and “India has to leave the land of Kashmir and Kashmiris would have their right to decide what future they want for themselves.”Secretary-General of Kashmir Civitas Dr. Farhan Mujahid Chak in his message called upon the need to remain committed to raising the awareness about Indian atrocities against Kashmiri people. He said that Kashmir remains on backburner and has been a neglected conflict for too long. “This year let us make a special solemn pledge that we will remain adamant to raise awareness of the colonial policies, the draconian communication strategies, the grotesque violations of human rights and the abhorrent practices of fake encounters, murdering and imprisoning journalists and civil society activists,” he said.Advisor President AJK Sardar Zareef Khan in his remarks said that expressing solidarity with Kashmiris encourages the spirit of Kashmiris to struggle for their legitimate cause. He thanked the Government and the people of Pakistan for keeping the issue of Kashmir alive. He said that India can never suppress the spirit of Kashmiris. Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations Mr. Altaf Wani highlighted the need for exposing the Indian government by presenting realities before the international community. Ms. Victoria Schofield, renowned author and historian on Kashmir, in her audio message stated that it pained her to see that the issue of Kashmir remained unresolved.

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