MUZAFFARABAD: Sardar Masood Khan, the president Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), has said that after grudgingly accepting the independence of Pakistan, India adopted a secular doctrine, an insincere attempt to hide prevalent Hindu nationalism under the guise of secularism.
He made these remarks while addressing two separate web-conferences organised by the Institute of Policy Studies on the topic of “India: Past, Present & Future: Perceptions of the Muslim World”; and by the Pakistan High Commission UK on the topic “Seeking Justice for Kashmiri Victims of Sexual Violence and Physical Torture, and Widows”.
Speaking at the IPS session – which was attended by leading international experts from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nigeria – the president said Hindu fascists romanticise an imaginary state of "Akhand Baharat" that they claim to have existed before the arrival of Muslim rulers in the sub-continent. This notion, he said, is not only unsubstantiated by history, it is also counterintuitive.
Referring to the faux secularism adopted by India, the AJK president said that over the decades, this glue of secularism had has come off and the real face of India’s political masters has been exposed. "Not long after independence, on 27 October 1947, India began working on its imperialistic agenda, and invaded the Jammu and Kashmir State. Driven by its Hindu-extremist policy, India has carried on with this agenda over the years," he said.
Masood Khan said that lawmakers and the leadership of BJP, the RSS and their affiliates have publicly declared that they would do away with Muslims from within India. This, he said, has caught the attention of Hindu zealots from across India which has consequently impacted the larger political landscape of the neighbouring country.
This BJP-RSS nexus has waged three wars in the region; one against its minorities inside its own borders, the second one against Kashmiris in the occupied territory of Kashmir and the third one against all its neighbouring countries. "Considering Pakistan as enemy number one, they have threatened to wipe off Pakistan from the face of the earth by the use of nuclear weapons," he informed.
The AJK president said that India’s ambition of becoming a colonial and imperial power in the region has led it to using the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh for sabotaging the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It has also formed a four-member alliance QUAD – comprising of India, USA, Japan and Australia – to oppose the BRI and, especially, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“India is the biggest barrier for progress in the region. SAARC has been struggling for decades and that too because India has been standing in the way of economic integration as it wants to establish its hegemony in South Asia,” said the president.
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Speaking about the situation in IOJ&K, he said that India is practicing the policy of lebensraum by reoccupying the State of Jammu and Kashmir, bifurcating it and now bringing it under the direct rule of Delhi. He compared the new domicile rules introduced in the occupied valley, to the policy followed by Nazi Germany against the Jews, based initially on economic strangulation, followed by demonisation and marginalisation and finally physical extermination.
The president apprised that in IOJ&K political leaders have been incarcerated, the youth are being killed and tortured in jails all over Occupied Kashmir and northern India. He added that 13,000 Kashmiri boys have been abducted and kept in prison houses where they are being subjected to torture and brainwashing. Bipin Rawat, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, has said that these boys (some as young as 10 years old) are more dangerous than a pellet-firing shotgun because they raise the slogan of Azadi (freedom) and self-determination, he said.
The AJK president said that members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should start a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against India, while the corporate sector of these countries should be discouraged to invest in India as they are committing human rights violations against Kashmiris and Muslims of India.
"Start by banning the import of non-halal meat into OIC countries and the formation of a Kashmir Humanitarian Fund with the help of the Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Solidarity Fund.”
He also suggested an international civil society movement be mobilised to delegitimise Hindutva and campaign to declare RSS a terrorist organisation. “The biggest and the most trained terrorist organisation in the world is the RSS. They have openly declared to target Muslims not only in South Asia but all over the world”, he added.
Appreciating the supportive role of the OIC, Masood Khan appealed to the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council to raise their voice against Kashmir and call out the egregious human rights violations taking place in IOJ&K.
Speaking at the web-conference hosted by Pakistan High Commission, the president appealed to powerful nations to make moral and legal choices for bringing India to justice and helping dismantle this machine of torture in IOJ&K. “Silence is a crime when such torture is openly taking place in any part of the world”, he said.
He added that 25,000 Hindus from all over India have been given domiciles of IOJ&K; and in the same manner, in which Muslim Indians have become second class citizens, Kashmiris have to run from pillar to post just to prove that they are state subjects. “If we don’t stop this now, IOJ&K won’t be a recognisable entity like it is today. Two million Hindus will be brought in over the coming years” he said.
The AJK president said that India’s non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council will lead to three setbacks in the Council. Firstly, it will try to delete the agenda from the UNSC calendar; secondly, they would make efforts to stop us from holding informal meetings on Kashmir; and thirdly, they will imperil funding of the mandate of the UNMOGIP. “As a permanent member of the UNSC, the United Kingdom can stop this and create a balance in the UNSC,” said the president while speaking to his audience.
He urged the British citizenry and its civil society to lead the campaign of letter writing and awareness-raising on Kashmir in the international realm.
He also thanked MP Steve Baker for his active and vocal role in raising his voice for the Kashmir people by authoring a letter. He urged him to use his clout with 10 Downing Street and the FCO to mobilise the UK towards Kashmir advocacy in both the British Parliament and the UNSC.
The web-conference hosted by the Pakistan High Commission London was attended by Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Nafees Zakaria, MP Afzal Khan, MP Naz Shah, MP Steve Baker, MP Tony Lloyd, MP, Imran Hussain, MP Khalid Mahmood, Lord Qurban Hussain, Councillor Aasim Rashid, Mr Muzammil Ayub Thakur, Chairman JKSDMI Raja Najabat Hussain, President Tahreek-e-Kashmir UK Fahim Kiyani, Dr Nazir GIllani, Syed Ali Raza, Shaista Safi and other leading members of the civil society.
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