MIRPUR (AJK)-President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan on Monday categorically denied any terrorism taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir, saying that the unarmed Kashmiris are only struggling for their freedom from occupation.

"Innocent people of Kashmir are a target of Indian state terrorism perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces."

The AJK president made these remarks while addressing the participants of the inaugural session of the two-day seminar on "Pathways to Peace" organised by renowned Kashmiri NGO the Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) on Monday in connection with silver jubilee of its emergence since 1993.

KIIR Chairman and speaker AJK Legislative Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir, Executive Director Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan and Director Programmes Altaf Hussain Wani highlighted the salient features of the outstanding performance of the organisation to encourage and ensure the early peaceful settlement of Kashmir Issue through track-II diplomacy through encouraging the bilateral linkage between the civil society of both sides of the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir belonging to various segments of the society. They referred to the implementation of CBMs between India and Pakistan through the advent of trans-LoC travel and trade since 2005 following the programmes held by KIIR in various parts of the world including Pakistan.

The AJK president said that India has propagated a false narrative of the Kashmir conflict being a bilateral issue. He said that India has been buying time by hiding behind the facade of bilateral talks and excluding the people and true political leadership of Kashmir from talks related to the resolution of the matter. India, he said, has hijacked the agenda of the talks and relegated the issue of Kashmir as a minute part of the dialogue.

Masood Khan said that since 1947, India has been reluctant in resolving the issue in an amicable and peaceful manner; and today they have deployed 700,000 armed Indian army personnel in Kashmir. Indian forces are freely murdering, maiming and incarcerating the people of Kashmir with utter impunity, he said. He added that India is using subversive tactics by using its operatives and launching a systematic proxy war to destabilise Pakistan by abetting and sponsoring terrorist activities in FATA, Balochistan and in the city of Karachi.

The AJK president said that India is targeting the areas adjacent to the Line of Control in order to divert the world attention from the atrocious human right violations taking place in IOK. Through unprovoked fire, India is using heavy artillery to target innocent civilians, their properties, livestock and farm holdings in AJK close to LoC.

He reiterated that the issue of Kashmir is not a fight for attaining ownership of a piece of land but its a struggle for ensuring the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people according to their political will. The world must take notice of the abhorrent war crimes taking place in IOK where the Muslims are a victim of a planned ethnic genocide.

The president while lamenting the eerie silence of the international community over the situation in IOK, said that our diplomatic, political and moral support will continue till the people of Kashmir attain their right to self-determination. He added that we need to mobilize the global civil society by raising the profile of the Kashmir issue by the use of traditional and modern means of communication. He urged forging unity among our ranks and leveraging the strengths of our diaspora community helping engage the various international human right organizations in raising their voice against the gross human right violations taking place in IOK.

He commended Pakistan for its support to the Kashmir cause and said that Pakistan is our only diplomatic window to the international community. He said that an economically and politically stronger Pakistan will guarantee that Kashmiris have a fighting chance in attaining their inalienable right to self-determination.

Addressing the seminar, senior political leader Senator Raja Zafarul Haq said that both the people of Kashmir and Pakistan are united in the just freedom struggle and India will never succeed in subduing the struggle of the people of Kashmir.

Member AJK Legislative Assembly Abdur Rasheed Turabi also addressed the participants. The event was attended by a large number of scholars, senior Kashmiri journalists, political workers, Kashmiri leaders, academicians and researchers.