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Destinies of the people of GB and AJK are entwined: Masood Khan

Islamabad:    (Parliament Times)   Sardar Masood Khan President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the government and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and all its political forces fully support the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

“The demands of the people of GB for their full constitutional rights should be respected and met without impacting the Jammu and Kashmir issue and its resolution in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said.

President Masood made these remarks while talking to members of the GB Council led by Mr. Muhammad Ashraf Sada, Chairman Standing Committee. Other members of the delegation included Mr. Saeed Afzal, Chairman Public Accounts Committee GB Council, Syed Muhammad Abbas Rizvi, Mr. Sultan Ali Khan, Mr. Arman Shah and Mr. Wazir Ikhlaq Hussain.

The AJK President briefed the delegation of the latest situation in IOJK and of the brutalities through which the people of the occupied territory were passing through since the start of the siege on August 5. He strongly rejected the illegal steps taken by India to bifurcate and colonise IOJK.

The members of the Council representing all parts and political parties of Gilgit-Baltistan said that the people of Giglit-Baltistan wholeheartedly support the legitimate right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

Sardar Masood Khan said that the armed forces of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan and AJK are fully ready to give a fitting response to any misadventure by India. “Let there be no doubt about it. The resolve of our nation is strong and preparedness at its peak. India would dare not challenge Pakistan’s multipronged capabilities to defend itself from Indian warfare”, he said, adding that there were strong indications that India was trying to launch another false flag operation to divert attention from its repression in IOJK and the reaction to its fascist policy against Indian citizens, especially Muslim citizens.

“Azad Kashmir and Pakistan do not want war but if India imposes a war on us, Delhi will have to bear dire consequences because of Pakistan’s robust response”, said Masood Khan.

Speaking to the members of the delegation, the President welcomed the initiative of the GB Council and termed it as a confidence-building measure which would further cement the close relations enjoyed between the people of the two regions. Masood Khan paid rich tribute to the valiant people of GB, who had sacrificed their lives for their freedom from the Dogra rule in 1947 and also helped repulsed the Indian National Army’s attempts to invade the territory in 1948.

Mr. Ashraf Sada said that to further bring the people of AJK and GB closer, efforts will be made to engage various segments of the society by the exchange of delegations from the fields of education, commerce, culture and academia. He said that the people of GB have cordial relations with the people of Kashmir and have always been committed to supporting the Kashmiris right to self-determination.

The President informed that during his visit to GB in August last year, he met with the Chief Minister and members of the GB Bar Council and media. He said that throughout his time there, he had received overwhelming support from the people of GB over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that he also spoke at the Karakoram University and the students there displayed immense intellect and asked very incisive questions.

Masood Khan said that the destinies of the people of GB and AJK are entwined because of their shared history and geographical contiguity.

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