Kashmiris have been made prisoners in their own homeland: Masood Khan

KARACHI: President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan has said that Indian occupation forces have unleashed a reign of terror in Indian held territory of Jammu and Kashmir saying that occupation forces have made Kashmiris prisoners in their own homeland.

The AJK president made these remarks while addressing a reception hosted in his honour by the Kashmiri community settled in the port city of Karachi on Monday. The event was also attended by Senator Saleem Zia, Member AJK Council Abdul Khaliq Wassi, Former President Supreme Court Bar Association Yasin Malik, President Karachi Press Club Ahmad Khan Malik, and senior political leader Sardar Shiraz.

President Masood Khan is on a two-day official visit to the provincial capital during which he will also attend various other events to underscore the core aspects of the Kashmir issue.

Speaking on the occasion the president said, “Indian state terrorism under the patronage of the BJP led central government calls for the immediate admonishment of the international community”. He said that the intentional silence of the international community on the sufferings of Kashmiris amounts to appeasement

The President said that Kashmiris as a community must adopt strong and coherent steps for intensifying collective efforts for the realization of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris. He added that the steadfast and committed support of Pakistan for attaining the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris has helped keep this issue alive for the past 70 years despite India’s disingenuous tactics to sweep this matter under the rug.

President Masood Khan commended the strong Kashmiri community-based in Karachi. He said the community here is honest, resolute, responsible, and hospitable. He added that they are a blessing and vowed that their apprehensions on various issues will be soon be addressed.

The President said that soon a purpose-built Kashmir Community Centre will be built where Kashmiris residing in Karachi will be able to hold similar functions and positively create awareness regarding the Kashmir issue.

Responding to the concerns regarding the restoration of quota for Kashmiri students in the educational institutions of Pakistan, the President said that measures will be taken to assess the situation and deliberation will be made with the stakeholders concerned.

With a sizable population of Kashmiris residing in Karachi, he said that their equitable political representation will be ensured in the PML (N) party structure within Sindh. For this, he added, the matter will be taken up with the party’s leadership in Pakistan and AJK. He said, “Proportionate political representation is pertinent in safeguarding the rights of the people and in addressing their concerns.”

President Azad Kashmir who is also the Chancellor of public sector universities in AJK addressed the concerns raised by the participants relating to the accreditation of BS Pharmacy degree of the University of Poonch. He confirmed that both BS Pharmacy and Medical Sciences degree courses have been duly accredited by the accreditation bodies concerned.

President Masood Khan said that our civilians are being deliberately targeted leading to heavy casualties ensuing Indian forces aggressive posture across the LOC. He assured that the Government of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan is deeply concerned for the safety of its citizens. He added that the affectees will be justly compensated and protection of their lives and properties will be ensured.

The President said that an economic revolution is unfolding in Azad Kashmir. He said that under the auspices of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, two Hydropower Projects (Kohala and Karot), an Expressway and an Industrial Zone in Mirpur have been exclusively earmarked for Azad Kashmir.

He urged the business community of Karachi to invest in AJK, especially in developing specialized industries, promoting tourism, education, agriculture, and infrastructure development. “We will make Azad Kashmir a valuable asset and an economic engine for Pakistan.”

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