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Report on illegal transfer of population to IIOJK and international law launched

ISLAMABAD   -   Centre for Law and Security (CLAS) in collaboration with the Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Secretariat Islamabad organized a report launch and a panel discussion on the illegal transfer of population to Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir IOJ&K and International Law at Kashmir House, Islamabad on Sunday, said a press release. The panel discussion focused on India’s violation of international law, lawfare options for Pakistan and the initiatives the Pakistani government has taken with regards to Kashmir. 

The President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan was the chief guest of the event. The panel comprised of Chairperson of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir Mr. Shehryar Khan Afridi, Advocate Supreme Court Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Ambassador (R) Riaz Khokhar, Senator Walid Iqbal, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Ms. Sobia Kamal Khan, Executive Director CLAS Rehman Azhar and Chairman Advisory Board CLAS Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by Mr. Faisal Mushtaq who mentioned the previous conference held by CLAS on illegal transfer of population in IIOJK in January 2021. He said that the conference served as a platform for insightful discussions and conclusive recommendations. He emphasized on the need to advocate for the rights of the Kashmiris and the crimes committed by India in IIOJK.

The panel discussion was moderated by Executive Director CLAS Mr. Rehman Azhar. The discussion started with Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi who stated that no one has a more documented legal position besides Kashmir because of the UN Resolutions. He mentioned that India’s moves are against their own Constitution. He mentioned that Pakistan has a very strong case against India regarding Kashmir.  He praised the team of CLAS and their report. Ambassador Riaz Khokhar while discussing the recent meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Kashmir leaders called it a public relations stunt. He further stressed that Pakistan has a strong legal case, however, the international community sides with India. He noted that CLAS and its work is educating people regarding Kashmir and international law.

Senator Walid Iqbal talked about the power of social media and why it was necessary to spread awareness. He mentioned that the Senate will hold a spirited debate regarding Kashmir. Ms. Sobia Kamal Khan mentioned the human rights violations Kashmir has faced and reassured that Pakistan will always stand by Kashmir.

Furthermore, Mr. Shehryar Khan Afridi called the report the need of the hour.  He stressed upon the importance of having such discussions. He said that Kashmir has never been taken seriously. He praised Prime Minister Imran Khan on his initiatives regarding Kashmir which include creating committees and advisory boards. He mentioned Pakistan government’s collaboration with important stakeholders across the globe. He discussed the interactive sessions that were held around the world regarding Kashmir to spread awareness. He also talked about bringing the Kashmiri narrative to the digital front by airing documentaries and films to highlight the atrocities faced by the Kashmiris. 

Chief Guest Mr. Sardar Masood Khan emphasized on the struggles of the Kashmiris and their will power to still fight. He said that if the Kashmiris were the ones to give up, India would have taken over Kashmir many years ago. He further mentioned that communication builds narratives and enables an environment which allows one to seek justice which is why it is important to raise awareness. He discussed India’s strategy in building the terrorism narrative and Pakistan’s way forward by showing Kulbhushan Jadhav as an innocent citizen while portraying the Kashmiris as terrorists. Mr. Sardar Masood Khan also discussed several international humanitarian law and human rights violations by India. He stressed that Pakistan’s case against India is strong, however, Pakistan needs to capitalise it’s legal resources to push the momentum forward in favour of the Kashmiri people. He praised the CLAS team for addressing the international law violations by India in IIOJK and their work on the report.

The event concluded with the report being distributed to panellists and guests followed by concluding remarks from Mr. Rehman Azhar who thanked the audience and their contribution.