12.5 million Kashmiris are “living in hell”: President AJK
ISLAMABAD: President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Abdullah Khan, visited NUST on 28 September, 2017. An interactive session was held with the students and NUST faculty regarding the Kashmir dispute and its way forward.
“India is currently engaging in three disputes with Pakistan: the Kashmir issue, the Line of Control issue, and the proxy wars in Balochistan, FATA and other areas of Pakistan,” said President Masood.
The discussion centered on the Kashmir issue being a prime example of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the 20th century, with thousands of Kashmiris killed and over 300,000 displaced.
“The problem is very simple”, he said, “20 million people do not have representation in the UN.” He elaborated by saying that out of the 20 million Kashmiris 12.5 million were “living in hell”.
Commenting on the dispute, the Rector of NUST, Naveed Zaman said, “The United Nations has failed to provide a solution for the Kashmiri atrocities and chooses to remain silent as Kashmir bleeds.”
Mr. Zaman further stressed upon India’s role in the dispute that has led to consistent tension in the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and India.
“India has waged an ‘Aqua War’ by controlling the flow of rivers into Pakistan via Indian administered Kashmir. Using water as a weapon is the most repugnant of crimes,” he said.
During the interactive session, Haseebullah Khan, a student of NUST, asked whether force should be reciprocated with force, in reference to the violence practiced by the Indian army. In response to that, the President stated, “Peaceful protests were stronger than weapons. Pakistan must invest in diplomatic support and students, in particular, should invest in moral support to the Kashmiris.”
Owing to the rivers that flow into Pakistan from Kashmir, President Masood iterated the importance of Kashmir for the country’s economy said, “Pakistan, as a state, is incomplete without Kashmir”, he said, “and Kashmir, I say, has no identity without Pakistan.”
However, not at all students were impressed. Yashal Shahid, a Kashmiri student at the university said, “The President cares very little about the Kashmiri people. Being a Kashmiri myself, I can tell you that the President lives outside of Jammu and Kashmir, and shares no concerns with the common Kashmiri.”
The student claims that the media did not pay Kashmiri martyrs enough attention and her own uncle, who had been martyred by the Indian army, and had not received media attention.
One of NUST’s faculty members, Mr. Zameer Ahmed Khan, however, had a very positive view of things. He said, “The purpose of the event was to highlight the Kashmir issue, and I think that Masood Khan, the President of AJK, is the right person to project this issue.”
President Masood was also presented with a shield by the Rector as a token of gratitude and appreciation.