MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly Speaker and senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Chaudhry Latif Akbar has proposed that the National Kashmir Committee of the incoming Parliament should be constituted in consultation with all parliamentary parties, and its members must be conversant with all angles of the long-running Jammu and Kashmir issue.

“Due to one after the other step being taken by the Modi government vis-a-vis occupied Jammu and Kashmir in naked violation of the UN Security Council and United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolutions, an aggressive campaign by the elected representatives of Pakistan is a must, and it’s therefore we suggest that the members of the parliamentary Kashmir committee must be au fat with the nitty-gritty details of this issue, to which Pakistan is the most important party,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“At the same time, soon after the election of the prime minister of Pakistan, the new government should also convene a conference of the Kashmiri leadership representing both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) with a view to formulating a comprehensive and effective policy to highlight the Kashmir issue in accordance with national aspirations,” added the senior Kashmiri parliamentarian.

The AJK speaker reminded that after scrapping the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir through constitutional terrorism on August 5, 2019, India had made its dreadful intentions clear by giving permanent residence certificates in occupied Jammu and Kashmir to around 3.5 million Indian citizens.

“It goes without saying that the purpose of these unlawful and arbitrary actions is to sustain oppressive rule by turning the majority of Kashmiris into a minority, but it must not be allowed to succeed,” he said, stressing that India’s actions should be challenged at every relevant international forum with complete preparation.

Mr Akbar regretted that, so far, the international community has also failed to make substantial progress in stopping the unrelenting bloodshed, state terrorism, lawlessness, human rights violations, and other crimes against humanity in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mr Modi has not only made the lives of Kashmiri Muslims miserable but also those of the other non-Hindu minorities inhabiting occupied Jammu and Kashmir through his more than 900,000 brute troops and government-backed Hindu fanatics,” he said.

He emphasised that it was high time to utilise the abilities of trained, educated youth, particularly from the diaspora community, by establishing Kashmir desks in foreign missions of Pakistan.

“I earnestly believe that the educated and enthusiastic people serving on those desks will pay dividends in a short span of time,” he said.

Mr Akbar claimed that his parent party, the PPP, had always kept national prestige and identity at the top of its priorities and would not disappoint the nation in the next political dispensation.

He expressed his gratitude to the people of Pakistan, who he said had made countless sacrifices in life and money for Kashmiris in every era.

“We are also indebted to our valiant armed forces that have fought three wars for our right to self-determination since the creation of Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Akbar expressed the hope that the new government would pay full concentration to the country’s political and economic stability, as a strong, prosperous, and stable democratic Pakistan was not only the centre of the aspirations and expectations of Kashmiri people but also indispensable for the early accomplishment of their noble mission.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2024

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