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Strategy needed to foil Delhi’s plan to change held Kashmir’s demography

ISLAMABAD: President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan on Tuesday said a strategy was urgently needed to foil Indian plans to change the demography of occupied Kashmir.

“If we do not do anything immediately,… couple of years later whatsoever we will do will be too little, too late,” he said at a webinar hosted by the Strategic Vision Institute on ‘Assessing Pakistan’s Kashmir Policy: A Medium to Long-term Strategy’. The AJK president warned that the situation in occupied Kashmir was changing at a lightning pace since its annexation by India. He said that although massacre of the Kashmiris and human rights violations were continuing unabated in the held valley, the foremost challenge facing the Kashmiris was that of demographic change.

India had after annexing occupied Kashmir on Aug 5, 2019 changed domicile laws and annulled the special rights of the Kashmiris over land ownership and jobs in the disputed region. The Modi government has given nearly two million domiciles to outsiders since the change in the rules.

AJK president urges Pakistani businesses to boycott Indian products

Mr Khan expressed worries that millions more would be brought in during the next couple of years to dilute the Kashmiri identity.

Speaking about Pakistan’s strategy on Kashmir, he contended that the weakest part of the effort was the political component. “Our political parties are not adequately interfacing with the rest of the word. Let us reach out to our interlocutors and urge them to call a spade a spade,” he stressed. President Khan said the “Indian genociders” needed to be held accountable for the crimes committed against the people of held Kashmir. He regretted that the world had given carte blanche to India by ignoring its atrocities in occupied Kashmir and non-implementation of the UN resolutions. “They are looking at the Kashmir dispute through Delhi’s prism because of economic and strategic considerations,” he maintained and added that by doing so the world was underwriting the ongoing genocide in occupied Kashmir.

He also urged Pakistani businesses to boycott Indian products.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2021