Commission set-up to address grievances of overseas Kashmiris


ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, met here on Sunday to take stock of the deteriorating situation in Jammu & Kashmir and strongly condemned the provocative statements given by the Indian government and the Indian army chief.

The President said that Indian occupation forces had turned IOK into a war zone where unarmed, non-combatant civilians were being mowed down in the wicked and barbaric cordon and search operations. The latest victim of these operations is a youth in Bandipora.

India, he said, is meting out this collective punishment on the Kashmiri population because of their demand for freedom, justice and self-determination, which is their birthright. When the peaceful people of Kashmir demand a just, political and negotiated settlement of the internationally recognized Jammu and Kashmir dispute, India retaliates by killing Kashmiri youth, blinding them by the use of pellet guns, arbitrarily arresting and then torturing Kashmiris, and abducting them and destroying their houses and means of livelihood.

The Prime Minister informed the President that a commission for the overseas Kashmiris has been established which would work to address the grievances of overseas Azad Kashmiris and give them incentives to invest in Azad Kashmir. The purpose, said the Prime Minister, would be to provide an enabling environment for the diaspora community to reconnect with their families and invest in Azad Kashmir and promote tourism. They also discussed matters related to the 13th Amendment.

The President and the Prime Minister endorsed the three recommendations of the UN Human Rights Commission’s report: a) India to respect the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people ; b) repeal of the two draconian laws – Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act – that empower Indian Security Forces to commit human rights violations with impunity and c) Human Rights Council to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.