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February 24, 2020

‘World yet to fully grasp gravity of situation springing from non-resolution of Kashmir dispute’

Islamabad

 
February 24, 2020

Islamabad : Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, in a recent interview, he gave to Anadolu Agency’s World Languages Editor-in-Chief Mehmet Ozturk, said that the world is yet to fully grasp the gravity of the situation in South Asia springing from the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, says a press release.

The AJK President had informed that we need to do more, to make the Kashmir dispute more internationalized and to raise more consciousness as there is a severe lockdown in place and the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir is under siege. The international community, particularly the powerful states of the world need to step forward and they should take the side of the oppressed Kashmiris, he said.

President Masood Khan said that India has already declared war against Pakistan by acting against the people in Indian Occupied Kashmir. He said that Pakistan, its Armed Forces and the nation of Pakistan are ready to respond to any misadventure by India but they are demonstrating restraint and responsibility. “We are in a state of war but we cannot wantonly plunge into a nuclear war, as it would be an apocalypse for the entire world and not just for South Asia. According to the estimates given by scientists, 130 million people would be killed instantly, and 2.5 billion people all around the world would be affected directly or indirectly by radiation and nuclear fallout. And that could mean failed crops that could lead to a global recession and mass migration of people”, warned Masood Khan.

Terming the United Nations Security Council’s inactivity and complacency as a dereliction of responsibility on the part of the international institution, the President said that powerful nations of the world are not stepping forward because of realpolitik, economic linkages, and state and strategic interests.

Citing the August 5 and October 31 moves by India as illegal and illicit, President Masood Khan said that they (India) had issued fake maps and in which they showed Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as part of the Indian territory. Referring to the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, the President said that they should be given all of their constitutional rights but at the same time, such steps should not affect Pakistan’s principle position on the Jammu and Kashmir issue.

After the August 5 lockdown, he said, the international opinion or the global community has been more attentive to Kashmir but we must continue to do more. “We want to establish a humanitarian corridor for the people across the line of control, and many humanitarian organizations mobilized such support, but India has continued to refuse all such offers”, he said.

President Khan especially thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish civil society, and think-tanks for realizing the severity of the situation and standing by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Responding to a query on resumption of stalled talks on Kashmir, the President said that Pakistan has always been willing and keen to negotiate with India and the people of Kashmir have always been ready for negotiations, but India has been stalling and blocking all political and diplomatic processes since the early 1950s.

Masood Khan said that President Trump offer of third party mediation was rejected by India and then he again said he would mediate only if India and Pakistan agree or concur. The reality is, said Khan, the current BJP and RSS regime, is pitted against its people and in the present circumstances; there are fewer chances of formal or even informal negotiations.

“But if the international community including a statesman like Trump wants to help, they must (first) stop the carnage in Kashmir which is an absolute priority and then simultaneously start a diplomatic process”, reiterated the Azad Kashmir President. Any negotiations must include the people of Kashmir as they are a key party to the dispute, he added.

“Why can’t the UN be a mediator under its charter? It’s the responsibility of the United Nations to play mediator. Why can’t UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres be the mediator and he can have all the collaboration and all the help from President Trump?,” argued President Khan.

The AJK President termed India’s August 5 steps and Citizenship Amendment Act as nothing short of the apartheid and hate we had previously seen in South Africa, or the kind of fascist measures that were introduced by in Nazi Germany by Hitler, or by Mussolini in Italy.

“Hindutva - a philosophy based on hatred - dictates religious discrimination. The United Kingdom and France tried to appease Hitler in a bid to stop a war but they were unable to stop that war. BJP, RSS are using the same techniques to eliminate Muslims. First, they are demonizing them as terrorists and potential militants; then they want to push them into concentration camps where they would be asked to prove their identity and if they cannot; they will be expelled or made stateless”, he elaborated.