MIRPUR (AJK)-AJK President Sardar Masood Khan strongly condemned the unabated killings, blinding, maiming and dishonouring of people of Jammu & Kashmir by the Indian occupied forces.

He also paid rich tribute to the Kashmiri people and Hurriyat leadership in Indian Occupied Kashmir who are, courageously, braving persecution and victimization of Indian occupation forces.

President Masood Khan made these remarks while addressing a joint press conference on Saturday along with Member of British Parliament Mr Afzal Khan who is on an official visit to Pakistan.

Addressing the press conference, the AJK president thanked the MP Afzal Khan for his resolute stance on the issue of Kashmir. He said that MPs of Pakistani and Kashmiri origin have always played a pivotal role in highlighting the Kashmir issue in the British Parliament and their efforts in sensitizing the British people to the human right violations taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The AJK president said that India has always created hurdles for the political, diplomatic and peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute for the past 70 years. India has falsely and maliciously demonized the peaceful political struggle in the occupied Kashmir by terming it as militancy and terrorism, he said.

Commending the role of numerous British MPs and Lords who have time and again, raised the issue of Kashmir in both the House of Commons and House of Lords, President Masood Khan said. He added we are hopeful that the British Parliament will effectively to put pressure on their government and their Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in compelling India to amicably settling the Kashmir dispute in accordance to the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Highlighting the plight of the Kashmiris being persecuted in IOK, the President said that India has used various machinations in curtailing the unarmed indigenous freedom struggle. He added that India will never succeed in quashing the freedom movement through its coercion, economic blandishments and political manoeuvres.

The President said that Mehbooba Mufti's desire to join CPEC can be made possible by connecting Srinagar to Mansehra-Mirpur expressway at Muzaffarabad, but India will first have to end its rule of tyranny in Indian Occupied Kashmir and its unprovoked fire targeting civilians across the LOC. He added that Mehbooba Mufti must cease being a facilitator to Delhi in its occupation.

Responding to a question on the civilians living on the LOC, the President said that increase in compensation is being discussed and funds have been approved for the construction of bunkers. He said that India is deliberately escalating the situation by violating the ceasefire agreement. He added that in this manner, India is trying to divert the international community's attention from the atrocities taking place in IOK.

Pakistan has always shown restraint in retaliatory fire and avoiding first fire, as we consider the civilians living in IOK as our own citizens, he said. He added that our citizens living in areas close to the LOC in AJK are at the frontline of Indian fire and we will do everything to ensure their safety and welfare.

MP Afzal Khan on the occasion said that the international community must take cognisance of the human right violations taking place in IOK. He further said that the world must not prioritize political, economic and strategic interests over the atrocities taking place in IOK.

The President thanked the Labour Party for including a commitment on Kashmir in its election manifesto and for trying to shine a light on the issue in the House of Commons.