WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (APP):AJK President Sardar Masood Khan Monday said that Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK( had been given four projects under
the multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including two hydel projects, which would usher in a new era of development and prosperity in the area.
Talking to APP during his visit to Washington during a breakfast meeting at the Pakistan Embassy, the AJK President stated that the projects were awarded to the AJK in spite of the opposition by Indians which had maintained that it was a disputed territory and could not be given such projects.
The two hydel projects will generate about 2,000 MW of electricity and together with the industrial zone being set up under CPEC will help to bring a revolution in the area through job creation and by boosting economic activity.
Later in the day, the AJK President addressed a forum organized by the Atlantic Council in Washington during which he highlighted the massive human rights violation and urged the international community to help find a lasting solution to the lingering dispute that has bedeviled relations between Pakistan and Indian for decades.
The Atlantic Council is one of the United States’ premier think tanks.
The President said that there could be no peace in South Asia until the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir was resolved.
During a Question-Answer session, President Masood Khan said that the international community should step forward to
stop ongoing crimes against humanity in Indian occupied Kashmir.
India had used real politik and the promise of economic deals to impose a virtual “gag order” on key Western capitals from speaking out against the atrocities being committed by the Indian occupation forces in Kashmir, he added. “This was tantamount to appeasement, which will have serious repercussions for peace and stability in the region.”
He called upon the United States to play the role of a facilitator by bringing all the relevant parties to the peace table. Right
now, he said, the reality was that there was total non-engagement between the parties to the dispute and unbridled repression by Indian occupation forces in the territory.
For Kashmiris, President Masood Khan said, Pakistan was the only “sovereign window” to the international community.
He thanked the Government of Pakistan for its staunch diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris and said that Kashmiris from both sides – Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir – were also taking their narrative directly
to the international community.
Sardar Masood Khan said that there was no terrorism in Indian occupied Kashmir and that the Kashmiris were waging a political struggle to win their freedom from India’s illegitimate rule.
India, the President said, was not only killing, torturing and maiming ordinary Kashmiris, but propagating a false narrative
about their struggle by equating it with terrorism. Kashmiris do not want to be a flash point between Pakistan and India but a
symbol of connectivity and cooperation, he said.
“Kashmiris should not be treated as aliens in their homeland. It is their territory and they would decide their political future and the destiny of their state,” President Masood Khan stressed.
He underlined that there were three parties to the dispute – Pakistan, India and Kashmiris. The Kashmiris were the key constituency. He criticized India for trying to exclude Kashmiris from discussions on the Kashmir dispute. “Discussing Kashmiris without the presence of Kashmiris was the biggest oxymoron ever,” he added.
Responding to a series of questions, the AJK President said it was India, and not Pakistan, that was responsible for the
non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions.
President Masood Khan expressed serious concern about the rise of Hindu extremism in India and said that
Hindutva-inspired fundamentalism was more sinister than so-called Islamic fundamentalism.
The event was attended by South Asia specialists from Washington’s think tank community, correspondents
from local- and South Asia-based newspapers and television channels, and members of the Kashmiri diaspora.