ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Saturday said after grudgingly accepting the independence of Pakistan, India adopted a secular doctrine.

This concept, he said, was an insincere attempt as this was nothing but Hinduism mascaraed as secularism.

He was speaking at two separate web-conferences organised by the Institute of Policy Studies on ‘India: past, present and future: perceptions of the Muslim World’, and by the Pakistan High Commission in UK on ‘Seeking justice for Kashmiri victims of sexual violence and physical torture and widows’.

Speaking at the IPS session, Mr Khan said Hindu fascists romanticise an imaginary state of Akhand Bharat that they claim to have existed before the arrival of Muslim rulers in the subcontinent.

This notion, he said, is not only unsubstantiated by history but is also counter-intuitive, says a press release.

Referring to the faux secularism adopted by India, the AJK president said over decades this glue of secularism had come off and the real face of India’s political masters been exposed.

“Not long after independence, on October 27, 1947, India began working on its imperialistic agenda, and invaded the Jammu and Kashmir State. Driven by its Hindu-extremist policy, India has carried on with this agenda over the years,” he said.

Mr Khan said lawmakers and the leadership of BJP, the RSS and their affiliates have publicly declared that they would do away with Muslims from within India.

This, he said, has caught the attention of Hindu zealots from across India which has consequently impacted the larger political landscape of India.

This BJP-RSS nexus has waged three wars in the region; one against its minorities inside its own borders, the second against Kashmiris in the occupied territory of Kashmir and the third one against all its neighbouring countries.

Considering Pakistan as the enemy number one, they have threatened to wipe off Pakistan from the face of the earth by the use of nuclear weapons, he maintained.

Mr Khan said India’s ambition of becoming a colonial and imperial power in the region has led it to using the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh for sabotaging the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It has also formed a four-member alliance comprising India, US, Japan and Australia to oppose the BRI and, especially, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“India is the biggest barrier for progress in the region. Saarc has been struggling for decades and that too because India has been standing in the way of economic integration as it wants to establish its hegemony in South Asia.”

Speaking about the situation in India-held Kashmir, he said India was practicing the policy of lebensraum by reoccupying the state of Jammu and Kashmir, bifurcating it and now bringing it under the direct rule of Delhi.

He compared the new domicile rules introduced in held Kashmir to the policy followed by Nazi Germany against the Jews based initially on economic strangulation followed by demonisation and marginalisation and finally physical extermination.

Speaking at the web conference hosted by the Pakistan High Commission in United Kingdom, the AJK president appealed to powerful nations to make moral and legal choices for bringing India to justice and helping dismantle this machine of torture in the held Kashmir.

“Silence is a crime when such torture is openly taking place in any part of the world,” he said.

He added that 25,000 Hindus from all over India have been given domiciles of held Kashmir, and in the same manner in which Muslim Indians have become second class citizens, Kashmiris have to run from pillar to post just to prove that they are state subjects.

“If we don’t stop this now IOJK won’t be a recognisable entity like it is today. Two million Hindus will be brought in over the coming years,” he said.

The AJK president said India’s non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council will lead to three setbacks in the council.

Firstly, it will try to delete the agenda from the UNSC calendar; secondly, they would make efforts to stop us from holding informal meetings on Kashmir; and thirdly, they will imperil funding of the mandate of the UNMOGIP.

“As a permanent member of the UNSC, UK can stop this and create a balance in the UNSC,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2020