ISTANBUL, 29 June 2020: Speaking at the opening ceremony of a virtual international conference on Jammu & Kashmir dispute today, participants called on India to end its ongoing atrocities in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) and to reverse its illegal and unilateral actions aimed at changing the disputed status and demographic composition of Jammu & Kashmir.
The two-day International Conference is being organized by Istanbul University on the topic, “Regional and International Dimensions of the Kashmir Dispute” and features members of parliament, scholars, experts and opinion-makers from across the world.
The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shibli araz; President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan; Chairman of Pakistan-Turkey Friendship Group in the Turkish Parliament, Ali Sahin; Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey, Syrus Sajjad Qazi; Member of the British House of Lords of the UK, Lord Nazir Ahmed; Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai; Rector of Istanbul University, Prof. Dr. Mahmut Ak; Istanbul University Dean of Faculty of Letters, Istanbul University, Prof. Dr. Hayati Develi as well as Head of Urdu Language and Literature, Prof. Dr. Halil Toker.
In his statement, (read out on his behalf by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey), Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Shibli Faraz, thanked the Government and the people of Turkey for their principled support for the just settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. He said that the current Hindu supremacist regime in India had unleashed unprecedented repression against the Kashmiris, and over 9 million people had been placed under the harshest lockdown. He called on the international community to take immediate action to stop India from changing the demography and distinct identity of IOJ&K, and to grant Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination.
President Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, rejected the illegal and unilateral Indian attempts to change the disputed status of the IOJ&K and to shift the demographic balance by bringing in settlers from outside the region. He called on the global community to initiate “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign against India to prevent it from carrying out atrocities against the Kashmiris.
Chairman of Pakistan-Turkey Friendship Group in the Turkish Parliament, Ali Sahin reiterated Turkey’s support for the Kashmir cause and stressed that conflicts in the Muslim geographies needed to be resolved through exclusive mechanisms of the Muslim world. He expressed grave concern at the ongoing Indian atrocities in IOJ&K, stating that Kashmiri brothers and sisters must know that children of Srinagar were the children of Ankara, women of Kashmir Valley were the women of Anatolia, and tears of the Kashmiri mothers were the tears of Turkish mothers.
In his statement, Ambassador of Pakistan, Syrus Sajjad Qazi, said that if the world could react to the tragic death of George Floyd, it must also react to the deaths of tens of thousands of Kashmiris which were being killed with impunity by the Indian forces. He called on India to ease the ongoing blockade; halt its human rights violation and bring to book those responsible for it; undo its unilateral and illegal actions since 5 August 2019; and grant the Kashmiris their right of self-determination.
Other speakers also called on the international community to play its role in resolving the longstanding dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and to end the gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law by Indian occupation forces in IOJ&K.
The virtual Conference will continue tomorrow as well.