ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that there is colonialism in the territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine and the people of both regions feel for each other. He said the oppressed people of Palestine and J&K both are struggling for an end to atrocities and ascertaining their legitimate right to self-determination.
The President made these comments while addressing a webinar titled “Kashmir & Palestine: The destruction of indigenous cultural heritage”, organized by Centre for Middle East & Africa (CMEA), Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad in collaboration with the Middle East Monitor (MEMO). The event was also addressed by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Founder and President Palestine Land Society; Ms. Mushaal Hussein Mullick, Kevin Chamberlain, Former Deputy Legal Adviser, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office & the Palestinian Authority; Dr. Salma Malik, Assistant Professor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Dr. Mahmoud Hawari, founder member of Oxford Palestine Solidarity Campaign; and Dr. Khuram Iqbal, Assistant Professor, National Defense University, Islamabad
He said that while the Palestine issue enjoys widespread support, especially in Europe and it has also been granted observer status in the UN; but Kashmir, despite, being a fault line between the two nuclear states has yet to garner the full attention of world capital
The AJK President also highlighted the 10 stages of genocide defined by Dr Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch. He added that Kashmir is at stage 8 and India is preparing for the stage of extermination. The final stage (stage 10) is “Denial”; and India will deny all these events by claiming that their efforts were aimed at the betterment of the Kashmiris and the development of the territory. He said that Dr Gregory has himself said that the regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “all the hallmarks of an incipient Nazi regime”. This, he said, accentuates our claim that whatever India is doing is a repeat of Nazism in the garb of Hindutva.
Masood Khan urged that there is a need to lobby with international organisation like UNESCO and parties to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict to stop this systematic erasure of the Muslim identity in Palestine and IOJK. He informed that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been quite vocal and the OIC-Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), and the Research Centre For Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) have especially focused on protecting the Islamic artefacts and heritage of Kashmir.
The President said that a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement must be initiated for Kashmir in the same a similar movement is working to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. “The dark and fascist doctrines of both Zionism and Hindutva have to be brought in the global spotlight. This has to be done through a very well thought-out and well-designed communication strategy”, he said.