Core issue between Pakistan, India is Kashmir; says Masood

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ISLAMABAD: AJK President sardar Masood Khan has said that we must realise that historically the core issue of conflict between Pakistan and India has remained the Kashmir issue. Pakistan and India, he said have fought four wars over Kashmir and till date the issue has remained unresolved.

The President made these comments while addressing the participants of the 20th National Security Workshop on the topic “Kashmir Dispute: Prospects for Resolution in Contemporary Geopolitical Environment” at the National Defence University.

The President while delivering his opening statement said that despite Pakistan’s commitment to resolving the Kashmir issue through diplomatic means and in the spirit of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, India has continuously rejected the UN decisions on Kashmir. Furthermore, he said, India rejects third-party mediation.

President Masood Khan said that India has maintained an aggressive posture of denying the Kashmiris their liberties, using brute force to kill, maim and torture innocent Kashmiris. The President drew the attention of the participants to the recent “Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir” report released by the British All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) and the report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHRC), which documents gross and consistent human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). He said that these reports along with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s report on Kashmir have relied on remote monitoring and do not describe the full extent of the atrocities.

The APPKG – whose members number over 70 British Parliamentarians – in its report has demanded the immediate repeal of the two draconian laws – Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act -, bring an end to the use of pellet guns, stop enforced disappearances and also recommends forensic investigation into the mass graves discovered all over IOK. Similar recommendations for the repeal of these ‘black laws’ have also been given in the OHCHR report, which also recommends the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry under the Human Rights Council (HRC).

The National Security Workshop was attended by senior civil and military officials, leading media personalities, members of parliament, legislative and provincial assembly.