Masood thankful to Turkey for supporting Kashmir issue

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ANKARA: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has appreciated Turkish leadership particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for strongly advocating the Kashmir cause.  “President Erdoğan strongly advocated a resolution of Kashmir dispute through dialogue in Islamabad and New Delhi and recently and at the UN General Assembly in New York without any fear or favor,” he declared.

The AJK president expressed these views while addressing international conference on Kashmir Turmoil:  Emerging Threats to Peace and Role of International Community, organized here on Wednesday by the Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) and the Institute for Strategic Thinking (SDE).

He hoped that the conference will bring the Kashmir cause to the radar screen of global diplomacy. “Today this event may look like a blip but tomorrow it might  become a trend or a tidal wave,” he added.

The AJK president said that Pakistan and Turkey were intertwined in strongest bonds while Azad Kashmir had a special relationship with Turkey. After 2005 earthquake, Turkey was the first and the most efficient responder for rescue, relief and rehabilitation besides subsequent reconstruction process.

Touching upon the Kashmir issue, Sardar Masood Khan said that Kashmir which is called paradise on earth, is right now rather a hell on earth, where mountains, valleys, rivers and forests – all are in shackles. What’s more, the entire population is imprisoned in their homes. A full gag order has been slapped in Kashmir; and now India wants to silence voices being raised for the rights of the Kashmiri people, he added.

He said that the Indian aggression of August 5 and the subsequent actions including bifurcation of occupied Kashmir violate the UN Charter, UN Security resolutions, and the Geneva Conventions. India has taken away special rights of the Kashmiri people to education, employment, acquisition of property and permanent residence, and Hindus from all over India would be settled in held territory to replicate the model of  the  settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and change the demographic composition of the state for all times to come.

The AJK president called upon the international community to build pressure on India for reversal of illegal steps it had taken on August 5 and October 31, constitute a Commission to investigate human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, and prepare ground for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He also urged the UN Security Council to intervene to save the Kashmiri people from carnage and to stem a drift toward war in the region that could be spiral to the nuclear level with dire consequences.

The event was also addressed by Shamshad Ahmed, Chairman, Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR), Muhammet Savaş Kafkasyalı, President, Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE), former Egyptian Minister Yehia Hamed, Lord Nazir Ahmed, United Kingdom, Honorable Senator Sherry Rehman, Pakistan, Honorable MP Erkan Akçay, Deputy Chairman of MHP Group, Turkey, Honorable MP Süreyya Sadi Bilgiç, Deputy Speaker of GNAT, Turkey, President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş, Turkey, President of the Court of Cassation İsmail Rüştü Cirit, Turkey