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Kashmir: statement by pro-Independence Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front

by EUToday Correspondents
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Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Kashmir’s premier pro Independence organisation, has recently issued a stern warning for the Governments of both India and Pakistan against ongoing repression to silence freedom cries in the respective areas under their control.

In a press release issued after their top level leadership conference of the Supreme Council, it was claimed that both the countries were embarking upon gradual demographic changes in the areas under their control in violation of international laws and against their own national and international commitments since the cease-fire was enforced by the UN 75 years ago.

“Our national identity and existence as a nation state is under severe threat from our two occupying neighbours and we will not sit in silence to allow them to erase our movement for independence and our identity as a distinct historical and geographical entity”, the statement said.

The press release claimed that India, with the aid of its military might, para military forces and draconian laws, was using many tactics to snatch land and evict Kashmiris by force to hand it over to multi national developers and was putting resistance leaders and their sympathisers in jails, which included political and human rights workers as well as journalists and that the international community should turn its focus on what was being done to the people of Jammu Kashmir under the guise of development projects.

In this important meeting of the Supreme Council, which was presided over by their Acting Chairman Altaf Qadri and moderated by Acting General Secretary Azmat Khan, a number of important political and diplomatic initiatives were discussed to make the international community aware of the dire challenges Kashmiri people were faced today, including the false imprisonment of their Chairman Yasin Malik and other Kashmiri leaders.

They also condemned the Pakistani government attempts through its puppet regime in AJK and in Gilgit-Baltistan where demographic changes and land grabbing schemes have been under taken against state subject laws and in violation of Pakistan’s own constitutional commitments.

The JKLF has demanded immediate suspension of the controversial census in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as it does not cater for separate state identity and does not take into account their linguistic and cultural needs as citizens of the state of Jammu Kashmir as provided in the international law for ‘occupied territories’. The JKLF warned that they reserved the right to refer the matter to the UN institutions, who will be urged to seek an advisory ruling from the international court of justice against Pakistan in its attempts to wipe out Kashmiri ethnic identity though the current census excercise. They also called for setting up of an international database for the citizens of the entire State to register their details in order to preserve their state identity against the onslaught of the recent changes in local laws on both sides of the occupied state, which they calmed was being done systematically and with the mutual understanding of the two countries.

The conference delegates stressed that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a historical and political entity accepted by the international community.

The meeting decided to form delegations through their diplomatic bureau to contact UN institutions, European Union and the G20 nations, as well as political principled leaders in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and in Pakistan, to inform them about their concerns including banning of books and changing of legal jurisdictions in ajk.

A special committee consisting of Raja Muzaffar Khan, the head of the diplomatic bureau, Acting Secretary General Azmat A Khan, Supreme Council member Engineer Qasim Khokhar and ajk President Doctor Toqeer Gelani was formed for this purpose.

The meeting strongly condemned the bureaucratic arrangement of land acquisition in the name of land reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan territories, which they claim does not belong to Pakistan, and demanded the Pakistan’s Chief Minister resolve the issue in accordance with the traditional local procedures of Gilgit-Baltistan and by restoring the State Subject laws in Gilgit-Baltistan and by cancellation of unlawful domiciles certificates to the non-state residents since 1974 and must recognise ownership rights of the bonafide residents of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The conference paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the movement including Shaheed Ashfaq Majeed Wani and Hazrat Bal Shouhdah Shabbir Siddiqui Shaheed and Basharat Raza Shaheed for their supreme sacrifice and reiterated that the immense sacrifices made by people of Jammu Kashmir on both sides for their complete independence will not be allowed to go in vain.

The conference called upon the international community to play its immediate and necessary role to end the ongoing brutal occupation of their people and help restore sovereignty of the state by facilitating release of political prisoners.
The meeting also agreed upon certain steps to further strengthen the Party and the movement in Azad Kashmir Gilgit-Baltistan Zone and build upon the unprecedented levels of public support they have received in recent years.

Acting Chairman Altaf Qadri briefed the attendees of the meeting on the ongoing efforts regarding the release of the incarcerated JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik and Zahoor Butt directed relevant departments for more effective and speedier diplomatic measures to secure their release from Indian prisons Furthermore, the meeting strongly condemned a recent incident of a terrorist attack on their district secretary of StudentsFront (JKSLF) during a peaceful gathering of pro-independence activists in Tetrinote, which was observed by the local police who stood idol instead of apprehending the culprits.

They also demanded justice in the the case of Naeem Butt Shaheed, who was murdered by ajk police during a peaceful JKLF rally in March 2018, where no one has been punished or faced justice despite a high level ‘ judicial inquiry’ report, which named the culprits and demanded their arrest. JKLF leaders termed the delay in justice for Naeem Butt Shaheed as dark spot on the face of AJK judiciary in the face of bureaucratic and shameful cover up.

The JKLF Acting Chairman appointed Javed Iqbal from Birmingham, UK as a coordinator to help him with matters of communication and liaison within the party.

Issued by: Tanveer Choudhry Information Secretariat, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front.

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