Ambassador Masood Khan appeals UN to appoint special envoy on Kashmir

Washington, August 06 (KMS): Pakistan Ambassador to the US, Masood Khan has called upon the United Nations and permanent members of the UN Security Council to take cognizance of the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and appealed to the UN for appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir.

Masood Khan was speaking during a special event organized by the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC to mark the “Youm-i-Istahesal-e-Kashmir” to highlight serious implications of India’s illegal action of 5th August 2019 in IIOJK for regional peace and stability.

Ambassador Masood Khan in his remarks said for past three years, the people of Kashmir have suffered gross human rights violations, persecution, and incarcerations. “Freedom of expression has been muzzled and journalists are being hounded and imprisoned. All of these actions violate international law and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions of Kashmir.”

Masood Khan said that absence of any diplomatic engagement between India and Pakistan has compounded risks for regional security. This tyranny, the Ambassador said, must come to an end.

He stressed on retraction of all the steps taken by the Indian government on 05 August 2019 and reversal of measures to change demographic composition of IIOJK by settling non-natives outsiders in the disputed territory and engineered delimitation of the electoral constituencies.

Masood Khan also demanded immediate release of Kashmiri political prisoners, including Masarrat Aalam Butt, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Aasiya Andrabi and Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo.

The Ambassador thanked the diaspora community for their constant and abiding support to the cause of the Kashmiris.

The General Secretary of World Kashmir Awareness Forum Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai recalled the warning by Dr Gregory Stanton about possible genocide threat in the territory. He emphasized upon the need for resolution of the dispute under UN Charter and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Ambassador Tauqeer Hussain, Adjunct Professor, George Town University, stressed the need for greater diplomatic efforts to sensitize the international community about the Kashmir dispute. He appreciated the efforts being made by the Embassy to create greater awareness about Kashmir among policy-makers, think-tanks and civil society of the US.

Former prime minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik recalled his mediatory efforts in 2019 which included his visit to India, Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and Islamabad. He said he will send an appeal to UN Secretary General to highlight the urgency of the issue. He urged the Indian government to release Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed highlighted that 15,000 political activists have been incarcerated since August 5, 2019. He pointed out a loss of $5.3 billion to the economy and half of a million jobs lost. He said that 4 million domiciles have been given to outsiders in IIOJK and 1.2 million people have been added to the voters list.

Deputy Leader in the House of Commons, UK, Afzal Khan pointed out that discrimination against minorities and hate speech had become normalized and institutionalized in India. He also expressed his serious concerns over the recent actions by Indian government to close trusts and incarceration of political activists.

Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Shamim Shawl in her address said that the Indian government could not suppress the ongoing freedom movement through its cruelties and the people of Kashmir would take it to its logical end at all costs.

She also urged the UN and other international human rights organizations to put pressure on India to stop its brutalities in IIOJK and help settle the lingering dispute through meaningful and result-oriented dialogue.

Lord Wajid Khan (through his video message), renowned political analyst and human rights activist Col US Army (Retd) Wesly Martin and former President of Association of Pakistani Physicians in North America Dr Asif Rehman also spoke on the occasion and shared their thoughts about the implications of Indian action of 05 August 2019 for the region.

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