CALGARY: The exiled chairman of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP), Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri has lambasted Pakistan for its duplicity over Kashmir issue and promoting terrorism in the region.
While addressing the Kashmiri community here over the current situation in the region, Shaukat reminded the gathering of the fact when Pakistani forces and tribal militias invaded Jammu and Kashmir in 1947.
Shaukat said: “We have to rethink as to why the land of Pakistan occupied Kashmir failed to accept us since after 1947. It is because a large number of women here were kidnapped. Children were massacred and a large number of people were burnt alive in their houses. But, we never demanded an apology. No one raised a question and when someone tried to raise it, we targeted him by our backward thinking”.
Since its illegal occupation, Islamabad has used the territory of PoK for its proxy war against India. It has given shelter and training to several terrorist groups that affect common Kashmiri people.
“I used to tell people that terrorism, communalism, and extremism will take away your identity and humanity. When we use to criticize this, they call us anti-Islam. Now, the situation is that people like Hafiz Saeed, who they use to praise and call as the champion of Difa-e-Pakistan, have been declared as terrorists by them,” Shaukat said.
“We use to call outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen as major obstacles for the rights of Kashmiris, but everybody failed to believe us. Now, the United States, the United Nations, and even Pakistan have declared them as terrorists,” he added.
Shaukat also hit out at Pakistan for not giving equal rights to the people of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan.
“If we want to work for the betterment of our people, then we should raise a demand from Pakistan to form a representative government in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, where an assembly member should have the right to form legislation,” he said.
“Our assembly members even don’t have the right to constitute laws. Our judiciary does not have the right to ensure freedom of expression. We can’t take any case to the High Court or the Supreme Court,” the exiled activist said.
He said that Pakistan is exploiting the natural resources in PoK, which have severe environmental effects.
“Pakistan calls PoK as a disputed territory, but recently it has diverted the flow of two rivers- Neelam and Jhelum- which has severe environmental effects. The locals protested for over six months, but none of the Pakistanis joined them to be part of their concerns”, said Shaukat.
He also highlighted the human rights violations in Pakistan and many other Islamic states.
“If you look at all Muslim states in the world – be it Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey, Pakistan or Iran – name any country which has given the right of self-determination in the 21st century. Every country in the world works for the social upliftment of the deprived people. However, in Muslim countries, they work on the basis of division among communities, their sects, and ethnic identities,” he said.
“A large number of Pashtuns and Baloch are languishing in jails. As per the United Nations Human Council Reports, Turkey and Pakistan have a maximum number of enforced disappearances cases,” he added.