Islamabad, September 14 (KMS): Speakers at a one-day National Conference on “Junagadh Challenges and prospects” held in Islamabad, today, called for reinvigorating the efforts by government, academia and youth to plead the longstanding case of Junagadh illegal occupation by India at international forums.
“Releasing of a new political map, although played an integral role in projection of this issue and seeking support for this cause, will not merely be enough for its resolution but the whole nation has to respond to this challenge not only the government,” the speakers said.
The conference, comprised of six sessions including four academic sessions, was organized by MUSLIM Institute to highlight the legal status of the Junagadh issue.
The Speakers asserted that Junagadh was an integral part of Pakistan which was illegally and immorally occupied by India. “Pakistan needs to persistently pursue its claim on Junagadh at all international forums for which a more cohesive and persistent policy is required,” they said.
The speakers made it clear that “India occupied Junagadh forcefully which was absolutely negated by the then Prime Minister, Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, and today we negate vehemently all Indian claims on Junagadh”. They put in high esteem the methodology and manner adopted by the MUSLIM Institute to carry forward the issue through organizing this conference and engaging the academician in research on this issue from different aspects. They also praised the academic maturity, serious academic work, and especially the professional manner in which the work has taken.
The speakers highlighted that Junagadh was a unique issue and Nawab of Junagadh continued to be the sovereign in exile. Junagadh’s Instrument of Accession with the state of Pakistan had an absolute validity under the auspices of international law, they added.
The speakers appreciated the Pakistan’s government releasing of the new political map which has secured special importance in the eye of international law, terming the country’s support for the cause of Junagadh as crucial. They said Pakistan honored all international treaties in letter and spirit and considered that honoring a treaty was part of honoring international law and the norms of the international community. “India is not a country but a region and all the nations of this region have the right to independence”, they observed.
The speakers highlighted the need to conduct more academic work on Junagadh issue and give special leverage to the Junagadh community. They pledged that supporting Junagadh was part of our national duty and acknowledged the courage and absolute resolve presented by the Nawab and Dewan of Junagadh state in carrying forward the case of Junagadh.
Speaking as a chief guest on the occasion, former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan, Gen (retd) Ehsan Ul Haq said Junagadh was also an unfinished agenda of partition of Indian subcontinent like Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) which has to come to the logical conclusion some day. Every aspect of Junagadh state has a strong legal foundation and reinforce the cause of IIOJK also, he said.
Gen (retd) Ehsan Ul Haq said the nations which do not display resolve and determination to safeguard their legal and legitimate rights can never be secured and respected and even their survival remains in jeopardy. “We have to tell the world that we are a determined nation that will never abandon its legal, just, and rightful claims,” he maintained.
“This is the era of ‘narratology since influx of social media platforms and if you can build a strong narrative to highlight such cause at international forums through mobilizing the researchers, intellectuals and youth of the country, you will be able to succeed,” he said.
In his presidential remarks, Nawab of Junagadh State, Nawab Muhammad Jahangir Khanji, thanked the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and his government for reiterating their stance through sharing Junagadh as part of Pakistan through the political map. He said it is heartening to know that Pakistan has not forgotten the Junagadh state and the way its media, scholars and the state are reinvigorating their struggle for meaningful resolution of Junagadh issue clearly proved, “Junagadh is Pakistan.”
Dewan of Junagadh State and Chairman MUSLIM Institute, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali; former Principal, Center for International Peace and Society, NUST, Maj Gen (retd) Shahid Ahmad Hashmat; International law expert, Ahmer Bilal Soofi; former Additional Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi Qureshi; Scholar from Department of History IIUI, Dr Mujeeb Ahmad were among the speakers.