UN-pledged right of self-determination an inalienable right of Kashmiris: Masood Khan

WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (APP): The Pakistan Embassy Thursday organized an event to observe “Kashmir Black Day” at which Ambassador Masood Khan said that Kashmiris’ will and the steadfast support of the Pakistani people would continue to sustain the Kashmir movement for justice.

“The right to self-determination is an inalienable right of people of Jammu & Kashmir and no power on earth can deny that fundamental right,” Masood Khan told the gathering, which included the President Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, as the Chief Guest, and other Kashmiri leaders — Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai and Dr. Imtiaz Khan.

Also present were members of Pak-American community, activists, students and media representatives.

The messages of President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif were read out on the occasion.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Wajid Khan, UK’s Shadow Justice Minister Afzal Khan, US activist for Kashmir cause, Daniella Khan, Associate Professor of History at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Dr Ilhan Niaz, and Kashmiri activist Shaista Safi sent video messages.

Speaking on the occasion, President AJK Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry highlighted various efforts that have been made in past to engage the international community and highlight the issue of Kashmir at international level.

He also shared his thoughts about the recent attempts by the Indian government to change the demographic character of the illegally occupied territory of Kashmir.

The AJK President urged the participants to become the voice of Kashmiris by not only engaging US lawmakers and raising the issue on international platforms but also proactively participating in the US political process.

In his remarks, Ambassador Masood Khan presented a historical perspective of the longstanding issue, highlighting the immense sacrifices by the people of Pakistan in their moral, diplomatic and political support for the just Kashmir cause.

Noting continuing inattention that had made Kashmir a blind spot for the international community, he said that the decades-old dispute was a perpetual threat to the peace and stability of the region.

Ambassador Khan urged the people of Kashmir not to lose hope, as “The flame of liberty must continue to burn in your heart.”

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, in his video message, expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir on behalf of the Parliament of Pakistan and called upon international community that there should be no double standards with regard to any illegal aggression, occupation and annexations.

Lord Wajid Khan, in his message, said that the United Nations should not forget Kashmir and the Kashmiri people, who were being denied their basic human rights.

MP Afzal Khan said that UK, US and the EU have a responsibility to push for a multilateral effort for the resolution of longstanding issue of Kashmir.

Dr. Imtiaz Khan said that the land of Kashmir was being plundered and human rights were being violated by the Indian occupation forces. He highlighted that 130,000 innocent Kashmiri have been killed and over 100,000 women have been raped in the struggle for the right to self-determination. Calling for practical actions and a concrete Plan of Action, Dr. Khan said that unless there was practical international pressure on India, the atrocities would continue.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai cautioned that the whole nation of Kashmiris was on the brink of extinction. He reiterated that the Kashmiri nation was united in their legitimate struggle for the right to decide their own destiny.

Ms. Danielle Khan, in her video message, called for continued efforts to raise awareness about the issue of Kashmir.

Dr. Ilhan Niaz, Associate Professor of History Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, underscored the need for resolution of the longstanding Kashmir issue in a manner consistent with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and the legitimate security interests of India and Pakistan.

Shaista Safi urged the global community to take serious notice of human rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir and the ongoing project of illegal settlements and attempts towards forced demographic change.

APP/if