India’s rapprochement bid aimed at validating illegal actions: Masood

Kashmiri leadership must be consulted before any talks with India, says AJK president


Our Correspondent April 02, 2021
Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan. PHOTO: TWITTER/@Masood__Khan

ISLAMABAD:

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has said that there has been no change in the policy of the Indian government on the Kashmir issue and noted that New Delhi remained ‘stubbornly stuck’ to its action of August 5, 2019, and subsequent steps.

“The Modi government is constantly taking steps to turn the Muslim majority into a minority in the held territory [Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir]. In this situation talks with Delhi would further encourage India to claim that its illegal actions have been accepted as valid," he said during an interview to a private TV channel.

The state president said that the ceasefire reached after talks between the DGMOs of Pakistan and India at the Line of Control is a right step because, after this agreement, the loss of life and property from the shelling between the armed forces of the two countries would come to a halt.

He maintained that the Kashmiri leadership should be consulted before any talks with India, and the government of Pakistan must take into confidence the leaders on both sides of the LoC, particularly the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, so that a consensus strategy is adopted keeping in view India's past record.

Read more: US raises concerns at 'significant' human rights violations in India

"On the one hand, India talks about holding negotiations and on the other, its 900,000 troops have besieged eight million population of Occupied Kashmir for the last 600 days, and besides usurping all their fundamental and civil rights, the youth are being killed in fake encounters on daily basis," he added.

Masood asserted that those struggling for freedom and right to self-determination in IIOJK are our own citizens, and they consider themselves to be Pakistanis, and we fully hope that the state of Pakistan would never leave them alone in their just struggle, adding that 220 million Pakistanis would never give up extending political and moral support to them.

The AJK president said that the letter written by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Premier Imran Khan, inviting Pakistan to a negotiation table, contains allegations, and in response, the Pakistani prime minister has clearly talked about Kashmir.

Asked for how long the ceasefire between the forces of Pakistan and India at the LoC would remain in place, Masood said that the question must be posed to India because it is the one that has always been committing aggression at the LoC.

"Our forces had been responding to India's aggression in self-defence, and they have been targeting India's military positions only," he asserted and added that Pakistan Army had never targeted the civilian population of Occupied Kashmir because they are our own citizens and brethren.

Responding to a question about efforts by Saudi Arabia and the UAE for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, the AJK president said that we have always demanded Saudi Arabia and other OIC members to use their good offices, and secure an end to Indian brutalities and the genocide of Kashmiri people in Occupied Kashmir, and play their role in resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

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