Islamabad, August 15 (KMS): A seminar titled, “August 15 Black Day: Exposing India’s sham pretence of democratic values in IOJK” was organised jointly by Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK) and Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA), today, (August 15) to mark India’s Independence Day as Black Day.
The session was chaired by Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, President of Islamabad High Court Bar Association.
The panelists included Advocate Nasir Qadri, Executive Director, LFK; Prof Abdur Rauf Khattana, Assistant Professor, Department of Sharia and Law, IIUI; Muhammad Ali Baig, Research Associate, India Study Centre, ISSI; Muhammad Ashraf Qureshi, Advocate Supreme Court Pakistan; Advocate Malik Qamar Abbass, Vice President, Islamabad District Bar Association.
While delivering the welcome remarks, Advocate Shoaib Shaheen said India has failed to uphold democratic values and the international commitments pertaining to human rights. He said India is adamant about employing violence as an instrument to coerce unarmed Kashmiris thereby perpetrating grave human rights violations. He also lauded LFK for its role in documenting the atrocity crimes and exposing the perpetrators of atrocity crimes in IOJK.
Prof Abdur Rauf Khattana, Assistant Professor IIUI, eloquently expounded on the disputed status of IOJK and also the tactics employed by India to illegally occupy the territory. During his address, he exposed the farce democratic face of India which is being used to whitewash the denial of Kashmiris’ rights and the violation of Human Rights in the occupied territory.
He further explained the measures under international law which can be employed to ensure that the perpetrators of war crimes in IOJK are held accountable. He recommended the documentation of all such war crimes and also looking for avenues like Universal Jurisdiction to build pressure on the Indian government.
Muhammad Ali Baig, Research Associate, India Study Centre, ISSI, said the Kashmiris and Pakistanis have blood ties with each other. He added that the denial of basic rights of Kashmiris is in contravention to the multiple United Nations resolution.
He asserted that the deceptive instruments and tactics like the accession and hollow provision of internal autonomy to the erstwhile state of Jammu Kashmir have ensured and aided the Indian occupation of IOJK. He stressed that Pakistan needs to up the ante and launch an offensive diplomatic program against India to expose its fake democratic façade.
Muhammad Ashraf Qureshi, Advocate Supreme Court Pakistan; spoke about the historical perspective of the Kashmir issue. He highlighted the shortcomings in the constitutional set-up of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), while expounding on the lack of clarity in Pakistan’s stance pertaining to the constitution of AJK. He urged all the Kashmiris to unite and work collectively in synergy against the occupier India.
Advocate Nasir Qadri, Executive Director, LFK, while addressing the seminar said India’s independence act of July 1947 makes no mention of Jammu and Kashmir, rather it (J&K) was illegally occupied by India’s occupying forces without any veneration to the aspirations of Kashmiris. He further added that being a freed part, it is the duty of the people of AJK to liberate the occupied territory of IOJK.
He asserted that the Jammu Kashmir issue is not only a matter of strategic interest for Pakistan, but it is also associated with the faith of Pakistanis as part of the two nations’ theory. He further highlighted the importance of the legal fraternity’s role in the Lawfare for Kashmir, and proposed the establishment of Kashmir cells in all the District / High Courts across Pakistan, particularly in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar.
Advocate Malik Qamar Abbas, Vice President, Islamabad District Bar Association, during the concluding remarks lauded the LFK and IHCBA for jointly organizing a seminar to expose India’s fake democratic values. He further assured and extended full support from Islamabad’s legal fraternity to advocate the Kashmir cause at all available avenues.