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NEW YORK: The Azad Kashmir President, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, has urged United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy in a decisive move to resolve the decades-old Kashmir dispute on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions that pledged the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.

He was addressing a big, boisterous rally of Kashmiris and Pakistanis in front of the United Nations building to denounce India’s reign of terror in Kashmir, as the Indian External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, addressed the UN General Assembly on Saturday afternoon.

President Sultan Chaudhry, who was the chief guest, denounced India’s “illegal” measures of 5 August 2019 that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, amid vociferous anti-India slogans and waving of a number of placards.

The placards read: “Modi: face of Indian Terrorism”, “Kashmiri Lives Matter Too”, “End the Occupation: Free Kashmir”, “Stand Up: Speak Up: Free Kashmir”, “India: Honour UN Resolutions”, “Freedom for all, Freedom for Kashmir,” “Indian Forces: Out of Kashmir”, “Demilitarize Kashmir”, “UN: Wake UP,” “No Justice, No Peace”, and, “India: Release Yasin Malik and Other Political Prisoners.”

A number of Sikhs also joined the rally, with Dr Amarjit Singh, the head of Washington-based Khalistan Affairs Centre, expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris struggle for freedom from India.

“We stand with you against our common enemy,” he told the cheering crowd.

In his remarks, President Sultan Chaudhry said his unstinted effort to internationalize Kashmir issue will continue with full vigour. It was the duty of both Azad Kashmir and Pakistani governments to turn the spotlight on the human right abuses which have now reached to unprecedented proportions. He unequivocally condemned the abominable act of changing the demographic character of the region.

Sardar Haleem Khan, chairman of the JKLF and main organiser of the rally, emphasized that no solution of Kashmir will be acceptable if it does not recognize the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He deplored the life imprisonment handed down by an Indian special court in New Delhi to Muhammad Yasin Malik, one of the most prominent leaders of Kashmir, and Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, chairman of World Forum for Peace & Justice, called for the application of international law was not selective in resolving the international conflicts. The Secretary-General dew attention to the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir brought about by the atrocities on a massive scale which are being perpetrated by 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces on unarmed men, women, and children. He warned the world powers that the status quo in Kashmir, if left unchanged, will only result in further deterioration of the situation Charter and can never be justified under international law.

Dr Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Centre, stated that abuses on innocent people of Indian occupied Kashmir continue unabated. After the revocation of article 370 and 35A, the laws which end the special status of Kashmir, more than 900,000 military and paramilitary occupation forces are holding the people as hostage.

Daily crackdowns are a routine and during this process the civilians especially the youth are targeted, he said. During the search operations, under the pretext to flush out militants, the civilian residences are looted. All of these steps are being taken under well-planned scheme so that Kashmiris are restricted to ghettos, their employment opportunities are scuttled, and they are deprived of religious freedom.

“We appeal the United Nations to take practical measures that will dissuade India to Indulge in gross human right abuses against innocent Kashmiri population and sway them to participate in tripartite negotiations involving Pakistan and genuine leadership of Kashmir.

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