ISLAMABAD, Dec 12 (APP):President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan Thursday lauded the principled stance taken by Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahatir Mohammad and his government on the appalling and deeply concerning human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK).

The people of Jammu & Kashmir, and Pakistan were beholden to the Malaysian prime minister for calling a spade a spade during his statement at the United Nations General Assembly session in September, when he said that India had “invaded and occupied Jammu and Kashmir despite the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir”, he added.

The AJK president was talking to Malaysian High Commissioner Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim, who called on him here at the Jammu and Kashmir House, a press release said.

Sardar Masood appreciated that despite Indian pressure of sanctions, the iconic D. Mahatir Mohammad had refused to change Malaysia’s stance on Jammu and Kashmir.

He also welcomed Dr Mahatir’s call for dialogue, negotiations, arbitration or any other form of diplomacy to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The Malaysian prime minister, he said, had reiterated the need for settling the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

The AJK president said Prime Minister Mahathir had put the United Nations and the rule of law at the centre for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Instead of listening to that sound advice by one of the world’s most pre-eminent statesmen, India had launched a #BoycottMalaysia campaign, he added.

Sardar Masood also appreciated the statement of Malaysian Minister for Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah that his country would continue to play a proactive role in opposing any form of oppression regardless of religion, skin or colour.

The Malaysian high commissioner said Pakistan and Malaysia enjoyed close ties which would be further strengthened. Malaysia would continue to take its principled stance on the Kashmir dispute, he said, adding his countries would also explore opportunities for enhancing cultural and economic ties with the AJK, including investment in infrastructure, energy, education, health, tourism and extractive industry sectors.