Islamabad, June 30 (KMS): Sardar Masood khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the people of Pakistan and Kashmir have reposed their full trust in the Turkish leadership who have recognized the Kashmir matter as not a bilateral one but as an issue between Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “We urge Turkey to play a mediatory role in helping resolve this long-standing dispute”, said the President.

The President made these remarks while addressing the opening session of the two-day international conference on “Kashmir: Regional and International Dimensions” organized by Faculty of Letters, Istanbul University.

The event was attended by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Rector Istanbul University Prof. Dr. Mehmut AK, Member of Turkish Parliament and Chairman Turkey-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group Mr. Ali Sahin, Lord Nazir Ahmed and Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai.

The President expressed his deepest gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who in his address to the Pakistani Parliament, in 2017 and 2020, expressed strong solidarity with the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and advocated a diplomatic solution for ascertaining the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. The President said that people of Kashmir are indebted to President Erdogan for raising the Kashmir issue during last year’s United Nations General Assembly in which once again he reiterated a diplomatic resolution to the dispute and during which he sharply criticized India for the steps taken on 5th August that year.

People of Turkey and Kashmir, maintained the Masood Khan, have a strong bond because after the devastating 2005 earthquake, Turkey helped rebuild three major AJK cities. “A deep Turkish imprint has been left on the hearts and minds of the Kashmir people”, he said. The President was deeply moved by the comments of Mr. Ali Sahin who expressed his solidarity with the Kashmiri people by saying “Children of Srinagar are children of Ankara. Women of Kashmir Valley are the women of Anatolia. Tears of the Kashmiri mothers are the tears of Turkish mothers”.

The AJK President said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been striving for their liberty and freedom for the past 200 years; first, during the despotic rule of the Maharaja of Kashmir and now after 1947, against India’s rule in the occupied territory. Since 1947, 500,000 Kashmiris have been killed, thousands of women have been raped, young men and women of all ages have been blinded, people are illegally detained in concentration camps, he said.

“Since 1989, 100,000 have been killed and the killing continues as we speak today”, said President Masood.

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