AJK president asks political parties to prioritise Kashmir issue


ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Masood Khan on Tuesday urged all the political parties to place the Kashmir issue at priority in their party manifestoes and pledge continuous support for Kashmiri people in their struggle for right to self-determination.

He was addressing a condolence reference held here at the National Press Club (NPC) to pay tribute to the exemplary contribution of Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead two weeks ago in Srinagar, summer capital of the Indian-held Kashmir.

President Masood said that killing a journalist for becoming voice of the Kashmiri people, highlighting their just demand of independence and condemning atrocities over innocent Kashmiri people was highly condemnable act.

“It is the responsibility of the state to provide protection to the journalists in conflicted and war-like situations as per the United Nation’s law so killing of Shujaat Bukhari is serious violation of this law and needs immediate legal action,” he said.

He said that the recent United Nation Human Rights report on Kashmir highlighting severe human rights violation and abuses in the disputed Kashmiri state was a milestone to aware the international community about the Indian brutalities and justifying Kashmiris’ demand for independence.

“Such a comprehensive and authentic report on Kashmir has not been published earlier so experts and human rights defenders must highlight this report at every forum to tell the world about reality of Indian violence against Kashmiri people,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of the government, civil society and human rights defenders to continue the mission of Shujaat Bukhari who wanted peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue and normalisation of situation between two parts of the divided Kashmiri state.

Speaking on the occasion, Liberation Front member Mushaal Hussein Mullick said that the late Shujaat Bukhari was a brave journalist. “People like Bukhari Sahib were born in centuries. He never compromised on truth and paid the heavy price for it.” She said that the UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir was a gift for the Kashmiri people.

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal, NPC President Tariq Chaudhry, senior journalist and anchorperson Hamid Mir, senior journalists Nasir Zaid, Altaf Butt and Irshad Mahmood paid tribute to Shujaat Bukhari for his journalistic contributions and expressed grief over his demise.