Reported by: The Voice of UK(Islamabad pakistan)ISardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the Pakistani-Kashmiri diaspora community has played a critical role in building awareness on the Kashmir dispute in their countries of adoption.
The President made these comments while interacting with a seven-member delegation led by Lord Mayor of the city of Manchester Mr. Abid Chohan who called on him here at Jammu and Kashmir House. The delegation also included Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Skills, Manchester City Council, Councillor Basit Sheikh, Assistant Executive Member Manchester City Council, Mr. Haroon Afzal Khatana, Chairman Pakistani Community Centre Manchester, Mr. Rana Abdul Sattar, Financial Advisor/Director Manchester Youth Academy and community leaders Mr. Atta-ul-Mustafa Chohan and Chaudhry Anwar Yaqub. The delegation is currently visiting Pakistan and will be consulting key stakeholders to help advance awareness on the Kashmir dispute.
The AJK President while speaking to the members of the delegation lauded the role of the diaspora community who have proved to an invaluable asset for the country as they have actively leveraged their strengths in advocating the Kashmir issue and have brought pride to the country through their active engagement in the politics and economy in not only their country of residence but also in Pakistan and AJK.
President Masood Khan also informed them of the dire human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir especially in the aftermath of the illegal measures taken by India on August 5, this year. He said that there is a gripping need for creating greater awareness on Kashmir and help alleviate the sufferings of the Kashmiri people.
The President said that the international community must take notice of India’s aggressive posturing and stem the drift towards war as any conflict may lead to a nuclear exchange of catastrophic consequences.
He went on to say that the Indian government in another move on August 31 altered the territorial boundaries of the disputed territory of the Indian Occupied Kashmir by bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir and the region of Ladakh. He said that these moves have led to these areas becoming Union Territories and paving the way for the transformation of demography. He said that all these moves are in contradiction to international law and conventions.
While appreciating the diaspora community for organising public awareness rallies, seminars, and other events in the British Parliament on the Kashmir dispute, he said that we must continue to reach out to MPs, Lords and MEPs. The community, he said, must encourage their representatives to debate the human rights situation in IOK in order to encourage the British government to help play an active role in the speedy resolution of the dispute. He said that our councillors and diaspora community have mobilised support for the Kashmiris at the grass-root level. He also thanked the Labour Party for passing an emergency motion on Kashmir at its party conference.
Lord Mayor Abid Chohan assured the President that the Pakistani-Kashmiri community in the United Kingdom is actively supporting the legitimate struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. ‘We have reached out to the local MPs and will continue to encourage debates on Kashmir in the city council and British Parliament”, he said.
The President, through the delegates, invited the diaspora community to invest in AJK. He said that there are diversified opportunities for potential investors especially in tourism, education, power generation, agriculture and the extraction industry. He said that the young generation of overseas Kashmiris will be given a chance to explore investment opportunities in incubation centres and start-up centres in public sector universities of AJK.
Expressing his appreciation for the diaspora community, he said that each member of this vibrant community is an ambassador who is helping bridge distances and cementing ties between the people of AJK, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.