During the 1965 war, the nation and the armed forces sent a clear message to India that any attempt to breach the country’s sovereignty will be thwarted.
This was stated by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan, at a ceremony held in Muzaffarabad, to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives for the country.
According to a statement, the president paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the 1965 war and those who laid down their lives to protect the motherland.
Expressing solidarity with the families of martyrs, Masood said that it is the collective responsibility of the entire nation to invest in the protection and future of these families. “Owing to their [the armed forces] strategic and conventional strength, as well as thorough professional grounding, they have become guarantors of our national security,” Masood said, adding that Pakistan’s armed forces are ranked among the strongest forces in the world.
The president said that the people of AJK were proud that they had succeeded in emancipating the Pakistani side of Kashmir after a heroic war with India during 1947-48.
Today, he said, thousands of soldiers from the liberated territory were serving in the ranks of the armed forces and defending Pakistan.
He extolled the efforts of the Pakistan Army in safeguarding the liberated Kashmiri territory round the clock and congratulated them on the recent successes made during their latest anti-terror operation, Radul Fasad.
Masood accused India of launching a four-pronged war against Pakistan – imposing a brutal war on the people of the Indian-occupied Kashmir; targeting civilians along Line of Control (LoC); employing ignominious diplomatic maneuvers to defeat Pakistan on the diplomatic front, and spreading terror across its cities using proxies.
“Despite all these challenges, Pakistan would prevail and emerge as a great nation,” he vowed, welcoming the recent statement made by the Pakistani foreign minister that ‘Pakistan would energetically take up the Kashmir issue at all international forums.
Masood said that India will be held to account for each of the atrocities it has committed in Kashmir. However, he said that despite all the excesses, the door to diplomacy and negotiation was still open. “This opportunity must not be lost,” he added.
He called on the international community to shun double standards and partiality towards the issue. They [the international community] should help Pakistan and Kashmiri people find a democratic solution to the dispute, as per the United Nation resolutions.
The president also sent a special message to the Kashmiri people fighting Indian forces, stating that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir salute your courage and sacrifices.
“The pace of the freedom struggle must be further accelerated to attain the goal of the freedom,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2017.