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Masood Khan urges reaching out to legal experts for resolution of Kashmir dispute

Islamabad:    (Parliament Times)     Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has categorically termed that India’s moves on August 5th as illegal and in clear violation of international law and conventions. He said that no country can alter the internal boundaries of an occupied territory nor can they transfer population in the territory adding that this is a clear violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The President made these remarks while addressing a seminar titled “Kashmir under occupation: International Law Perspectives”, organised by the Research Society of International Law (RSIL). The event was also addressed by Ms. Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister for Human Rights and Ahmer Bilal Soofi, President of RSIL.

While addressing his audience, the President said that on August 5 India has reoccupied IOK and is now transforming the territory into a colony. India, he said, has formally broken the bilateral regime on Kashmir after its unilateral actions.

Strongly condemning the UN Security Council’s lax attitude towards Kashmir, he said that why did the UNSC wait for a communiqué from Pakistan Foreign Minister in order to hold a session on Kashmir. He said that the informal session was concluded without an issuance of Presidential Statement. Even though such statements are anodyne in nature yet the hesitated, he said. Furthermore, he said that current UNSC President Karen Peirce’s statement of not debating o Kashmir this month is deeply concerning as India continues to kill, maim and torture innocent Kashmiris in IOK.

“In this century, have the Kashmiris been earmarked as the race or segment of society earmarked for elimination?”, he implored.

India, he asserted, has since 1947 been practising colonial constitutionalism in the territory and after this illegal move is trying to legitimise its rule in IOK through occupational constitutionalism. The people of Kashmir have been living under the direct control of Delhi despite the issue being an internationally recognised dispute.

The AJK President said that under the Partition Plan and the UNSC resolutions, Kashmir is a case of self-determination which is a basic human right enshrined in the UN Charter. He said that UNSC has yet to implement its own resolutions of Jammu and Kashmir due to geo-political and strategic interests of various P-5 member states.

Sardar Masood said that India and Pakistan have fought six wars over Kashmir and yet the stalemate continues. The dispute needs immediate resolution as the peace and security of the region is at stake. The UN must act under Articles 33, 36 and 37 of its Charter to help seek a solution through negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement or through regional agencies. He said that Article 37 clearly states that “If the Security Council deems that the continuance of the dispute is, in fact, likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, it shall decide whether to take action under Article 36 or to recommend such terms of settlement as it may consider appropriate”

India, he said, continues to reject UNSC resolutions barely tolerate the presence of UNMOGIP and scuttle its operations. The UNSC and the international community must take cognisance of India’s gross human rights violations in IOK.

He said that there is a need to raise the Kashmir on the international forum especially its legal aspect. The need is to establish contact with international law forums and the international committee jurists. There should be continues outreach to world Parliaments, lawmakers, and legal experts, especially to the international proponents we feel are sitting on the fence.

He suggested holding an international conference of legal experts on Kashmir which should be preceded by a national level conference on the same lines.

He urged a proactive and forward-looking approach to the matter. India, he said has to be brought to justice for its illegal moves of August 5. He said that world capitals must initiate a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Kashmir and precondition trade to restoring normalcy in the IOK and to talks for resolving the dispute.

The President said that there is no rationale for creating a Kashmiri government in exile because according to the mandate of the AJK Government we represent the people of the whole disputed territory.

“My own submission is not to make any unilateral concessions with India. We will never receive a positive response from India. India has already pocketed these concessions and used it to maintain the status quo”, said the AJK President.

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