ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and AJK President Sardar Masood Khan on Sunday congratulated US Presidentelect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in the US election.
In their separate messages, the two leaders expressed the hope that the new US leadership would improve its role for peace in Afghanistan and help resolve the Kashmir issue.
In his tweet, President Dr Arif Alvi said: “Congratulations President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Looking forward to an improving US role towards world peace, specially in Afghanistan, as well as the entire region.”
“Pakistan looks forward to our continued long-term friendship and a dignified relationship,” the president said.
In his message, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan expressed the hope that the US would play an active role under the leadership of US President-elect Joe Biden to save the internationally acknowledged disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir from becoming a colony of India.
In a statement, the AJK president said that following the war crimes being committed by Indian troops in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris, and the discriminatory treatment of Indian minorities, mainly Muslims, the international community must come out of the misperception that India was the world’s largest democracy.
“The United States is the champion of democracy and civil liberties and it cannot be expected of it to prefer its economic and political interests over the basic human and democratic rights of the Kashmiri people, particularly their right to self-determination,” he said.
The AJK president pointed out that all actions taken by the Narendra Modi-led regime in the disputed territory of Kashmir on and after Aug 5 last year were in sheer violation of UN resolutions as well as international laws and it was incumbent upon the international community, particularly the US, to get them reversed before a final settlement to the dispute is reached in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
“I hope Mr Joe Biden will uphold his previous stance and raise voice against discriminatory laws against Muslims and other minorities of India as well as the worst human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Mediation effort Sardar Masood Khan said that Pakistan and the Kashmiri people would welcome any mediation effort by the US or any other country for the settlement of the Kashmir issue provided the UN supervised the mediation process and the Kashmiri people were part of it.
He recounted that the US, while supporting the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, had played an important role in the approval of the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir in the 1950s, something the Kashmiris were again looking forward to.
“Since the unresolved Kashmir issue has been posing a serious threat to global peace and security, its settlement is imperative to usher South Asia in a new era of development and progress,” he said.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2020