Kashmiris still demand freedom despite India’s crude attempts to subjugate them – Masood Khan

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Altaf Hamid Rao,

Islamabad/ MIRPUR (AJK), (Parliament Times)  : Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that successive Indian regimes have created an illicit pro-India political class in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, led by the likes of Sheikh Abdullah. In return for privileges, he said, these collaborators tried to sell Kashmiris to Delhi. “But they did not represent the Kashmiris ? and they do not, up to this day”, he maintained.

In an article published in a leading magazine, the AJK President said that India in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has used every page from its playbook of tyranny and carried out massacres, blindings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, torture, and used rape and sexual violence as an instrument of war. He added that they also made crude attempts to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris by giving development funds and bribes to select groups. “This did not work either; people [of IOJK] still demand freedom”, he said.

The President said that India, out of frustration, also tried to paint the Kashmiris’ quest for freedom as treason and terrorism, and demonised Pakistan all over the world for backing the Kashmir freedom struggle. For 72 years, he said, successive Indian governments and occupation forces, have to no avail, exhausted all the tricks in their political and military repertoire to subjugate Kashmiris.

Masood Khan said that a watershed in India’s Kashmir policy marked by the rise of the Hindu nationalist-fascist doctrine of Hindutva, under the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has led to settler-colonialism, taking hold of the land, changing the complexion of its population and plundering the State’s resources.

“They laid out an elaborate plan to impoverish the population by stealing their livelihoods and businesses. As a result of these fast-track actions, the population of the occupied territory faces disenfranchisement, dispossession and displacement”, he said.

President Masood warned that according to the US-based NGO, Genocide Watch, India is preparing for the extermination of the Kashmiris. Reminiscent of the Nazi Party’s mass killings and deportation of Jews in the last century, the penultimate stage is the massacre of Kashmiris, he said. Referring to the November 1947 Jammu massacres, where nearly 250,000 Muslims were killed by violent Hindu extremists and some half-a-million were pushed out of the State, he said, “Kashmir is bracing itself for yet another holocaust”.

Masood Khan said that short of using nuclear weapons, India is involved in multidimensional warfare in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Firstly, its 900,000 occupation forces are fighting a full-fledged war against unarmed Kashmiris, who reject India’s writ; secondly, worldwide, India is falsely projecting Kashmiris as terrorists. Thirdly, he added, the BJP-RSS regime and their hardline affiliates have unleashed an all-out attack on Pakistan on the diplomatic and political fronts throughout the world. Fourth, the BJP-RSS regime has sponsored a lethal hybrid war against Pakistan by employing tactics such as proxy wars, subversion, terrorism, incitement to hatred, economic meltdown, and weakening of national institutions. Finally, it has also tried putting chokeholds on Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the UN Security Council and multilateral development banks to weaken Pakistan’s economy.

“The purpose of these moves is to make Kashmir a Hindu protectorate, weaken Pakistan, advance its irredentist agenda and act as a regional gendarme in South Asia and beyond”, he said.

“Given the threats from the BJP-RSS regime to take Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and disintegrate Pakistan to realise their dream of Akhand Bharat, we have to conceive a Greater Pakistan Vision to save Kashmir, and Pakistan itself. Kashmir lies at the centre, whether we think of Pakistan’s territorial integrity, or its water security, or economic resilience”, said Masood Khan. He said to stem India’s expansionist agenda, we have to secure our borders vulnerable to Indian misadventures and incursions.

The AJK President said that Pakistan is incomplete without Jammu and Kashmir; and Kashmir’s freedom is directly linked with Pakistan’s national security. He asserted that in order to protect Pakistan’s vital interests and embark on the path of state-building that includes Kashmir, putting the economy and human development at the centre stage is of utmost strategic importance.

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