'We will not leave you alone': AJK assembly expresses solidarity with occupied Kashmir

08 Aug 2019

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AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider addresses the legislative assembly on Thursday, Aug 8. — Photo provided by author
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider addresses the legislative assembly on Thursday, Aug 8. — Photo provided by author

The Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday warned India that it could neither crush the popular freedom struggle nor raise any “constitutional” set up in occupied Kashmir on the surmise of “military might” and advised New Delhi to find a peacefully negotiated settlement of the lingering dispute as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

The assembly also assured the besieged leadership and people of Indian-occupied Kashmir that AJK stood by them in this difficult phase of their freedom movement with full conviction.

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“We will not leave you alone in any way. We will live and die along with you,” vowed the house through a unanimously approved resolution, tabled by Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider reportedly in consultation with members from both sides of the divide.

Condemning the abrogation of occupied Kashmir's constitution as well as extension of the jurisdiction of India’s constitution to the disputed territory, the AJK legislature observed that Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution were amended and repealed, respectively, to reduce the majority of Muslims there, due to which India had always been reluctant to hold a UN-sponsored plebiscite.

The house maintained that bifurcation of the region into two Indian union territories — Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without legislature — was a direct attack on its integrity and fundamental and democratic rights of its inhabitants.

It made it clear that the Indian move was not only a sheer violation of the UNSC resolutions, but it had also jeopardised regional peace which, in turn, could also seriously threaten global peace.

Expressing serious concern at the massive deployment of troops in occupied Kashmir and other draconian measures put in place there, the house called upon the international community to refrain India from pursuing its jingoistic designs.

It asked Islamabad to play an effective role, as a responsible country and an important party to the dispute, in the wake of the situation created by the Indian move.

The house stressed that Pakistan should exploit all possible means to involve the international community in lifting curbs on civil liberties in occupied Kashmir and rescuing Kashmiri people from the brutality of Indian troops.

It particularly expressed concern over the deteriorating health condition of Kashmiri detainees, specifically those lodged in Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail, and asked the UN Human Rights Commissioner to raise voice for their release.

Indian ceasefire violations across the Line of Control were also condemned and bravery and resilience of the people living there appreciated by the house, which also paid tribute to the armed forces of Pakistan for giving a befitting response to Indian aggression.

The UN secretary general was urged by the house to enhance the number of military observers for effective monitoring of unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian troops.

Earlier, speaking on his resolution, Haider maintained that due to India’s illegal move, occupied Kashmir had reverted to the position of August 15, 1947 and its "standstill agreement" with the dominion of Pakistan stood revived.

He asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to gather all political leaders on one platform and formulate a unanimous policy to deal with the situation.

Haider, however, took strong exception to the arrest of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz today, terming it a “lethal attack on harmony”.

“We have full faith in Pakistan but arrest of Maryam Nawaz at this particular point appears to be a conspiracy to divide the nation and strengthen Indian agenda,” he said.

Former premier Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan and several other lawmakers also spoke on the resolution.

The chair later adjourned the session till August 14, when it is likely to be addressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, the AJK government has announced to observe Friday as “prayer and solidarity day with Kashmir”.