‘Help to set up humanitarian corridor to aid Kashmir’
Praising Turkey for its stand on Kashmir, President of Pakistan-administered Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan on Wednesday, called for establishing a "humanitarian corridor" to aid people in Indian part of Kashmir, currently under communication blockade.
Addressing an international conference in Ankara, Khan asked Turkey to use its diplomatic trademark the "humanitarian diplomacy" to help people of Jammu and Kashmir, facing onslaught since Aug. 5, when India not only dissolved the state, but also revoked its autonomous status.
Turkey, being the fourth largest humanitarian donor in the world, is involved in humanitarian diplomacy in Syria, Myanmar and African continent. Pakistan-administered Kashmir, also known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) president urged Turkey to play role of an interlocutor and a "powerful catalyst" to convince India to stop "repression in Indian-administered Kashmir''.
"We will welcome your humanitarian diplomacy in one form or the other. We have faith and trust in you. Turkey can be a channel of communication, a facilitator, a conciliator, a negotiator or a mediator," he said.
Appreciating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks on Kashmir during his speech at the UN in September, Khan said, it was a manifestation of braveness of the Turkish government and its people, taking a principled stand.
Addressing 74th session of UN General Assembly on Sept. 24, Erdoğan had said that it was imperative to solve Kashmir problem, through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision.
"We know that the Turkish street and the Turkish civil society across the political spectrum support the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Khan told the conference jointly organized by Ankara-based Institute of Strategic Thinking and Pakistan-based Lahore Center for Peace Research.
Giving details of the extraordinary situation developed in the region, after India scrapped special provisions granted to Kashmir, Khan said, people in the region consider Turkey a symbol of vibrancy and renaissance. "We respect your strong commitment to the tenets of justice, dignity and liberty. You are the standard bearer of humanitarianism and humanitarian diplomacy has become the central plank of your foreign policy," he added.
Appealing for international help, he listed saving Kashmiri people from ''genocide'' and ''collective annihilation'', as an absolute priority.
"Build pressure on India to reverse illegal steps, it took on Aug. 5 and Oct. 31 to annex and colonize the state of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.