Kashmiri’s demand respect for their political rights: Masood Khan

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MUZAFFARABAD: (Parliament Times) Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir strongly condemned gang rape and brutal murder of eight-year old Asifa Bano by Hindu zealots. This, he said, was a deliberate act to punish an entire community, adding that the very existence of 1.1. million Gujjars and Bakarwals (nomadic shepherds with a pastoral life style) is in danger.

The President of Azad Kashmir made these remarks today as the Chief Guest at the inaugural session of the Third International Conference of Linguistics organized by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) here in Muzaffarabad.

The culprits of this heinous crime must be brought to justice and the international community must intercede to give respite to the family and the affected community. An environment for such crime has been made for curtailing the right of Kashmiris with impunity. The President said that situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir was horrendous where crimes against humanity were committed to silence the people’s aspirations for freedom and liberty.

Even though there was rich linguistic diversity in Jammu and Kashmir, he said that it was treated as one cohesive unit because of its history and geography. Jammu and Kashmir cannot be divided based on language, religion or culture, he added.

President Masood Khan said it was imperative to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions. This would help us restore connectivity within the region, he said, as the Kashmiris stand for unity and diversity and respect of their wishes for their political future.

The President complimented the UAJK for taking impressive strides towards quality education to its students especially through organizing such international conferences. The international conference being attended by delegates from the US, the UK, Poland, Japan, France and the Indian Occupied Kashmir demonstrates that Muzaffarabad is fast becoming a hub for intellectual interactions and academic activities, he said.

Thanking the dept of English and the Institute of Languages, President Masood Khan said that this conference will help understand different languages, their history, phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax and socio-linguistics. This conference would not only promote national and local languages but enhance understanding amongst foreign and national delegates proving to be are a vehicle and catalyst for promoting connectivity.

The President said that Jammu and Kashmir had a rich linguistic landscape dominated by two major families; Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan. He said that languages spoken in Jammu and Kashmir included Urdu, Kashmiri, Pahari, Punjabi, Dogri, Gojri, Shina, Balti, Tibetan, Ladakhi and Burushaski also having a small niche. Languages, he added, reflect the culture and civilization of a region and they die or phase out due to the transformation of phonetics. “End of a language is the end of a civilization”, he said.

He emphasized that as many languages were facing extension, determined efforts were required to ensure their survival. The new internet and cyberspace technologies have created space for multilingualism which is good news for local languages and cultures, said the President.

Above all, said President AJK, we should strive towards finding a language of peace and harmony and not a language of conflict – a language of amity and not a language of arms and ammunition. Elaborating, he said Kashmir dispute will never head to a solution with India imposing violence on the Kashmiris. Only dialogue and diplomacy can guide our path towards a lasting solution, he said.

The impressive event was attended by scholars, academicians, researchers and a large number of students.

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