APP40-07 CANADA: July 07 - President of AJK Sardar Masood Khan in a group photo with executive members of Canadian International Toronto (CIC). CIC is a distinguished think tank and public policy forum which invites dignitaries from all over the world to deliver speeches on international issues. APP

ISLAMABAD, Jul 7 (APP):President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan has urged the Canadian Senate and legislative Assembly for sending a fact-finding mission to both Indian Occupied Kashmir and Azad Kashmir to help find a solution of the long-standing dispute of Kashmir and ascertain human rights situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
The president is visiting Toronto on invitation of the Consulate General of Pakistan, Toronto and the Kashmir Committee Canada, said a press release received here Saturday from Ottawa, Canada.
While addressing the members of Canadian International Council (CIC), he drew the attention of the Council to the report on the situation of human rights in IOK released recently in Geneva by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The report, which meticulously chronicles evidence of a rampant culture of impunity and denial of access to justice in Indian occupied Kashmir, as well as brutalization of Kashmiris through killings, excessive use of force, mass blindings of protesters, torture, enforced disappearances and sexual violence.
While thanking the Council for holding an exclusive session on Kashmir, the President invited Council members to visit Azad Kashmir and see for themselves the AJK Government’s endeavours to promote human rights, the rule of law, access to justice and accountability.
The council was invited to see the government steps for fostering human development by investing heavily in road infrastructure, power generation, industrial growth, agriculture, health and quality education.
Sardar Masood Khan thanked Canada for its contribution to the decision making on Kashmir in the Security Council, in the very early phase, and its support to and participation in the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
The President told that how the international community at long last has broken its silence on the massive, gross and consistent human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
He urged Canada to support in the Human Rights Council the High Commissioner’s fresh proposal to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate Indian forces human rights violations in IOK, which are tantamount to crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The AJK President further informed that the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) in the British Parliament would soon release a report to substantiate how India’s two notorious draconian laws – the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Security Act – had given a license to kill unarmed Kashmiris and shield the perpetrators of these crimes from legal scrutiny, prosecution and punishments.
These laws, he said, permit state authorities to arbitrarily detain persons without charge or judicial review for up to two years without telling the detainee what his crime is or giving him family visitation rights.
These laws must be rescinded forthwith, the President said and appealed that the international community should put pressure on India to abide by the rules of proportionality, distinction and precaution, stop committing war crimes and targeting unarmed non-combatants.
The President also demanded that India should be asked to allow independent and impartial international investigations into unmarked mass graves to determine the identity of the victims of India’s state terrorism. Similarly, instances of sexual violence should be independently investigated and prosecuted. The President said that the basic rights of the Kashmiris and their fundamental freedoms should be restored by lifting restrictions on the Internet, mobile phones, newspapers and journalists.
President Masood Khan denounced India’s practice of constantly keeping the leaders of Joint Resistance Leadership- Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik – under detention.
“These true and faithful representatives of Kashmir must be released”. The President said that the root cause of the human rights crisis in Kashmir is the denial of the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and India’s refusal to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue and diplomacy, as demanded by the people of Kashmir and Pakistan.
India, he said, wants to resolve the issue through the use of state terrorism and brute force but it would never succeed in that mission.
The President categorically said that according to the Indian security officials no infiltration was taking place across the Line of Control from the Azad Kashmir side and the movement in Kashmir was indigenous.