MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan said there was no military solution to the Kashmir issue and India would have to initiate dialogue with Pakistan and Kashmiris to find a way for a peaceful settlement of this longstanding dispute.
He said that Pakistan had always sought a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through dialogue, but India was adamant that it would settle the issue through military might by suppressing the voice of Kashmiri people for their internationally recognised right to self-determination.
He made these remarks on Tuesday while speaking to a delegation of 48th Pakistan Navy Staff Course, comprising 14 faculty members of the Navy War College and 92 course participants, including 20 officers from friendly countries.
Recalling that India and Pakistan had already fought three wars over the Kashmir issue, the AJK president cautioned that New Delhi’s persistent obduracy on the issue and its barbaric acts in occupied territory and indiscriminate shelling on civilian population along the Line of Control (LoC) could push both nuclear-armed states to the brink of a fourth war.
“It is the high time the UN secretary general take a step forward and appoint a special representative to explore a viable solution to this festering conflict and ensure lasting peace and stability in the region,” he said.
“The UN and world powers need to intervene in setting a stage for the settlement of the Kashmir issue before these two nuclear states indulge in a full-fledged war which will be a massive disaster engulfing not only the South Asian region but also a large part of the world,” he added.
About the draconian laws prevailing in India-held Kashmir, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) that give total impunity to India’s occupation machinery, President Khan told the delegation that an Indian soldier was at liberty to shoot and kill any person and nobody could hold him accountable for his act.
He said that a recent report on Kashmir by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights followed by a similar report compiled by the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group in the British Parliament was a positive reflection of the fact that the international community had now started realising the gravity of the dispute.
He said that another report on the state of human rights in Kashmir was being compiled by a committee of the European Parliament.
Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2018