Relentless repression of Kashmiris can lead to grim consequences, Masood Khan

Masood Khan1

Masood Khan1

international community to focus on the Kashmir conflict and warned that continued suppression of Kashmiris could lead to grim consequences.

In an interview with an international news agency, Khan spoke at length on security issues, humanitarian conditions in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK)
and the role of the international community, besides emphasizing to launch
humanitarian diplomacy to ameliorate the sufferings of the people in the
occupied territory.

Against the backdrop of tensions triggered by a suicide attack in
India-occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February this year, Sardar
Masood Khan said the situation was gloomy and gruesome after the Pulwama
attack followed by military exchanges between India and Pakistan on
February 26 and 27.

India, he said, has intensified its cordon and search operations (CASOs)
in the occupied Kashmir.

“The political leaders and activists are being persecuted in IOK. Indian
leaders, particularly ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra
Modi is using oppression in Kashmir as fodder in their election campaign,
showcasing the repression against Kashmiris as a strong point to solicit
votes in the elections,” Khan regretted.

The Hindu extremists, he maintained, have orchestrated a campaign against
Pakistan. In election rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has threatened
to use nuclear weapons against Pakistan to wipe out it from the face of the
earth, a threat, which Masood Khan called ‘nuclear terrorism’.

He said the international community did show its interest in the situation
of Jammu and Kashmir in February, but unfortunately, it (international
community) was more concerned about the security of the region than the
humanitarian crisis unfolding every day in Kashmir and the cause of the
tensions.

When asked what kind of political solution can be applied to resolve
Kashmir conflict, Sardar Masood Khan said the solution is already on the
table and was given by the UN Security Council (UNSC) when India had
approached the world body back in the 1950s.

The solution, he added, was that a referendum, or a plebiscite, would be
held under the auspices of the UN to ascertain the wishes of people of
Jammu and Kashmir.

He said a political solution is possible when all the parties to the
dispute come to the negotiating table. Now, the people of Jammu and Kashmir
and the state and people of Pakistan were ready for that process but it was
India who was obstructing the process by choosing the path of brutalizing
the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Saying that Kashmir was an international issue with three parties to the
dispute, AJK President said it was India’s preference to project it as a
bilateral issue or a border dispute between India and Pakistan, which was
not a reality.

The international community should focus on the Kashmir dispute, not just
through a security prism and the consequences of a clash between India and
Pakistan. But it should focus on the root cause — the denial of the right
to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and gross
violations of human rights, he emphasized.

Commenting on the prospect of nuclear war between the two South Asian arch-
rivals, Khan said the threat of serious confrontation between India and
Pakistan could not be ruled out until the international community makes
serious efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

“If there is a nuclear exchange or a limited nuclear exchange, it would not
remain confined to the region. The consequences will be dangerous not just
for India and Pakistan, but for the entire world”, he cautioned.

“There would be massive radiation which would affect 2.5 billion people in
South Asia. Some 20 million people will die. So, I think it is the
responsibility of the international community to avert such a war by
addressing the root cause, which is the dispute of Kashmir.

Regarding the suspension of trade between two dived parts of Kashmir (AJK
and IOK) by India, the President said India acts like the judge, the jury
and the executioner by making false allegations against Pakistan and
suspending the trade unilaterally without any investigation.

“All of a sudden in the midst of their (2019) elections, they raised this
issue that all these trucks carrying merchandise across the LoC had some
weapons and drugs,” Khan pointed out.

“Why were they (Indian authorities) silent all these years? And, what were
their border officials doing? So, we think this is one of the ploys to
demonize Pakistan and this fits into their approach to level allegations
without any shred of evidence or proof, Masood Khan noted.
Relentless repression of Kashmiris can lead to grim consequences, Masood Khan*

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