Altaf Hamid Rao.
MUZAFFARABAD/ MIRPUR (AJK), (Parliament Times) : The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President, Sardar Masood Khan while describing the diaspora community as a major source of strength for Pakistan has urged the Pakistanis and Kashmiris living in the United States to promote a positive image of Pakistan and raise voice for the rights of Kashmiri people at every available forum.
He said this during a meeting with Ali Rashid, President of American Pakistani Advocacy Group, who called on him at the Presidency here on Wednesday and briefed him about the activities of Kashmiri and Pakistani community in the United States regarding the Kashmir issue.
AJK President especially thanked the Pakistani community of New York on behalf of himself and the people of Azad Kashmir and maintained that due to the efforts of the Pakistani and Kashmiri community in New York, a resolution was passed by the New York State Assembly earlier this year declaring February 5th as Kashmir Day.
The passage of resolution to establish Kashmir Day on February 5 is clear proof of the effective role our diaspora community is playing in America, he added.
Describing Pakistanis and Kashmiris living in the United States as a dynamic force, the AJK President said that he was satisfied to know that our community is working tirelessly and had played a pivotal role in internationalising the Kashmir issue and highlighting the plights of Kashmiri people.
Saying that the Pakistan-Kashmir community in the US is very lively and dynamic in protecting the rights of Kashmiris and promoting their struggle for the right to self-determination, Masood said diaspora community have made laudable efforts in mobilising public opinion in favour of Kashmiris by reaching out to influential members of US Congress, Senate and civil society.
The state President said that United States is a beacon of light for the protection of human rights in the world, especially for those whose rights have been usurped by powerful governments and occupying countries. President Khan expressed his hope that the American Pakistani Advocacy Group would expand its activities to all sections of American society to highlight the struggle of Kashmiris for liberty, freedom and the right to self-determination.
Earlier Mr Ali Rashid told the President that American Pakistani Advocacy Group had recently expanded its efforts to address the inhuman treatment of Kashmiri people by the Indian government.
He said that since the United States promotes the ideals that all human beings are created equal and have the inalienable rights life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but unfortunately the current situation in the Indian Occupied, Jammu and Kashmir render these notions obsolete.
He said keeping in mind the circumstances prevail in Kashmir, we felt a need to show our solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters by initiating various activities and advocacy programs. Our organization in collaboration with other community groups and individuals got a resolution passed in the New York State Assembly that declared February 5th as Kashmir Day.
The APAG, he said, seeks to champion the human rights of Kashmiri people by showcasing the beauty of Kashmiri culture, heritage and their ethnic background. In doing so we have established a precedence that allows us to actively engage in transformative pedagogy with our communities to secure the safety and success of Kashmir.
The efforts of APAG, Ali Rashid said, have been widely recognized heroic and prompted the promotion of Pakistani Americans and the great country of Pakistan as a whole.