Former Norwegian Premier and AJK President discuss situation in Kashmir


New York:    Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, in a meeting with former Norwegian Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik said that the resolution of the Kashmir issue is imperative for regional and world peace.

During the meeting, the two leaders expressed hope that the issue of Kashmir is resolved in accordance to the UN Security Council resolutions passed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The President said that the Kashmir dispute calls for a lasting solution which can only be achieved through the implementation of the UNSC resolutions that call for a free and fair plebiscite. He said that Kashmiris are struggling for their right to self-determination. He added that the people of Kashmir before the curfew of August 5 were engaged in a peaceful and unarmed struggle against the Indian occupation forces.

The President said that Pakistan and the people of Kashmir seek a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir Dispute. He said that war is not a solution to the dispute. He added that India is threatening regional peace and any such militaristic misadventure by them may jeopardize regional and global peace.

He urged the major international powers to raise their voice in support of the Kashmiris and bring an immediate stop to the human rights violations taking place in IOK.

Post-August 5, said the AJK President, Jammu and Kashmir has been transformed into the world largest prison where the Kashmiris live under a dark pall of tyranny. He informed that there is complete lockdown and a total communications blackout in the territory. Young Kashmiris are being illegally detained and their whereabouts are unknown to their family. These detainees have been transferred to the most notorious jails of India and they are being subjected to unimaginable forms of torture. During midnight raids, old men are kicked and the women are molested and assaulted.

The President on the occasion invited the former Norwegian Premier to visit AJK and openly observe the situation on the ground.

During the day, Mr. Javed Rathore, a US-based social activist, led a delegation which also called on the AJK President. Members of the delegation who hailed from various cities of the US and Canada also informed the President about the demonstration held outside the UN. They said that a large number of people from all walks of life were present on the occasion.

The President while conversing with the members of the delegation said that the UN Security Council must continue to convene meetings on Kashmir and it should play a proactive role in resolving this longstanding dispute.

Earlier, a delegation led by Ms. Ghazala Habib, Chairperson Friends of Kashmir (FOK) also called on the President. The delegation apprised the President of various activities undertaken by FOK in raising awareness on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The President while commending the efforts of the FOK in mobilizing support for the Kashmiris said that organizations like FOK are playing a key role in creating critical awareness on the issue of Kashmir and the human rights abuses taking place in IOK at the hands of the Indian occupation forces.

President Masood Khan lauded the role of the diaspora the community especially in the United States and for advocating the compelling need for the realization of the right to self-determination of people of Jammu and Kashmir.