Delegates of Kashmir conference in Ankara urge India to lift blockade, respect human rights and resolve Kashmir dispute peacefully through dialogue

ANKARA, 21 November 2019: The two-day international conference on Jammu & Kashmir dispute held in Ankara on 20-21 November jointly organized by Lahore Center for Peace Research and Institute of Strategic Thinking under the theme “Kashmir Turmoil: Emerging Threats to Peace and Role of International Community” concluded.
 
Leading scholars, parliamentarians, academicians, researchers, journalists and writers from across the world attended the event that discussed the historical, legal, political, security and human rights dimensions of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. These deliberations were followed up by a comprehensive ‘Strategic Thinking Workshop’ on the Kashmir dispute.
 
The inaugural session had high-level Turkish and international representation, including the President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, Senator Ms. Sherry Rehman from Pakistan, Lord Nazir Ahmad from the UK, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Turkey Mr. Ismail Rustu Cirit,  President Religious Affairs of Turkey Prof. Dr. Ali Erbas, Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mr. Surreya Sadi Bilgic, Deputy Chairman of Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Turkish Parliament Mr. Muhammet Emin Akbasoglu, Deputy Chairman of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in Turkish Parliament Mr. Erkan Akcay and parliamentarians from Indonesia, Egypt and Iran. 
 
President Masood Khan, Senator Sherry Rehman, Lord Nazir Ahmad and other speakers gave a comprehensive overview of the prevalent situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir following India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019. These illegal steps were in direct contravention of the international law and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir and had been rejected by the Kashmiris. They showed deep concern at the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in IOJ&K as millions of Kashmiris are braving continued blockade since August. 
 
Dignitaries from Turkey once again reiterated their steadfast support to the people of  IOJ&K. Kashmiri representatives thanked the leadership and people of Turkey, particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for Turkey’s principled stance on the issue. 
 
A remarkable factor was that all delegates unanimously condemned the 5th August 2019 illegal actions of India in the occupied Kashmir. Conference participants also showed concern at the growing trend of Hindutva in India which threatens minorities. They stressed on the need to defuse military tensions in South Asia keeping in view that both Pakistan and India are nuclear armed states and any miscalculation could be of disastrous consequences for the entire world.
 
Conference participants were unanimous in their views that the continued blockade of Kashmir should immediately end and international human rights organizations, observers and independent media should be allowed to visit Indian occupied Kashmir. They were unanimous in their views that Jammu & Kashmir dispute should be resolved peacefully by upholding the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiris in accordance with the UN resolutions.