MUZAFFARABAD; 27 January: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has urged journalists to use their professional capacity to effectively highlight the worst ever atrocities unleashed by Indian army in Occupied Kashmir (IOK) apart from using their pen and camera to ensure rule of law, merit, good governance.
Addressing a gathering of senior journalists at a dinner hosted at the Presidency in the honour of newly elected office bearers of Central Press Club, the President said collaborative efforts by government, media and civil society were need of the hour to alleviate the sufferings of those living under the shadow of unrelenting violence, suppression and coercion.
“It is our collective responsibility to raise voice for our brothers and sisters living across the Line of Control (LoC) who are being killed, injured and blinded for life simply for demanding their legitimate right to self determination,” the President stressed.
Referring to black day observed on both sides of the LoC, Pakistan and in different parts of the world by Kashmiris on the occasion of India’s Republic Day, the AJK President pointed out that India had achieved independence from a colonial power, but itself has become a colonial power by occupying a major portion of the state of Jammu and Kashmir against the will of its inhabitants.
“A country which has illegally occupied a territory at the strength of its military might and has been brazenly trampling all basic and fundamental rights of the people living therein has no right to celebrate Republic Day,” he said.
While seeking the international community’s role to stop India’s inhumane treatment of Kashmiri people in IOK, the President maintained that state sponsored terrorism, war crimes and gross violations of human rights by Indian occupation forces should be a matter of serious concern for the entire humanity.
President Khan also felicitated the newly elected office bearers of the Central Press Club and expressed his hope that the journalist body under its new leadership would play a significant role for promotion of objective and ethical journalism and resolving the problems being faced by media fraternity.
Earlier, Central Press Club president Tariq Naqash introduced club members to Mr Khan and expressed his gratitude for showing keen interest in resolving the problems being faced by the media community.
He said it was heartening for the journalists to have someone in the highest constitutional office of state who had started his practical life as a correspondent and broadcaster.
“Your penchant for journalism and your strong connections in the country’s top-tier policy making institutions raise our hopes that not only it will help us augment the capacity of local media persons but also resolve their fiscal woes,” Mr Naqash said.