NEW YORK: Pakistan will continue to steadfastly support the struggle of Kashmiri people for freedom and self determination as it has consistently done in the past, Ambassador Masood Khan told a large gathering of Kashmiri and Pakistani community members on Thursday evening.
“We’ll always stand by the people of Kashmir,” he declared at a meeting organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day.
Masood Khan, who leaves New York for Islamabad on Saturday after completing his 2-year tenure, said that Pakistan assigned top priority to Kashmir because Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah has called Jammu and Kashmir as the country’s jugular vein.
The people of Kashmir, he said, were indebted to Pakistan’s solid backing and hearts of Kashmiris and Pakistanis beat in unison.
Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz reiterated Pakistan government’s pledge to extend its political and diplomatic support for the people of Kashmir struggle to attain their fundamental rights.
Other speakers, including Capt.Retd. Shaheen Butt, who heads the Kashmir Mission, and Sardar Sawar Khan, a former member of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, denounced the large scale human rights violations taking place in Indian occupied Kashmir, and urged the international community to help resolve the decades old dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Rohail Dar, president of PML-N, USA, paid tributes to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to infuse new life into the Kashmir dispute. As part of those efforts, Dar said, he forcefully spoke out for the rights of the Kashmiri people in the U.N. General Assembly last September and instructed Pakistani diplomatic missions abroad to hold commemoration of the Kashmir Solidarity Day every year.
Capt. Shaheen Butt deplored India’s continued occupation of Kashmir, saying an overwhelming majority of Kashmiri people wanted to be part of Pakistan.
The struggle for the Kashmiri people’s inalienable right to self-determination would continue, he said. “Pakistan will not be complete without Kashmir.”
Sardar Sawar Khan referred to the enormous sacrifices being made by Kashmiri people in pursuit of freedom, and said that the agenda of the 1947 partition of the sub continent would not be complete without a just and fair settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
He urged Pakistani political parties to come together just like Kashmiri parties so as give momentum to the struggle for the liberation of Kashmir from Indian yoke.