Panel on Jammu and Kashmir dispute held in Turkish capital

Panel on Jammu and Kashmir dispute held in Turkish capital

Event organized in connection with upcoming ‘Youm-e-Istehsal-e-Kashmir,’ or ‘Day of Exploitation,’ says Pakistani Embassy

By Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) - A panel discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was held Thursday in the Turkish capital Ankara, Pakistan’s Embassy said in a statement.

The event was organized by the Ankara-based Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) in connection with the upcoming 'Youm-e-Istehsal-e-Kashmir’ (Day of Exploitation), the embassy said.

The day is observed throughout the world annually on Aug. 5 as a “somber memory of the heinous actions taken by India in August 2019 to perpetuate its illegal occupation of the Jammu and Kashmir region,” it added.

It marks India’s revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which led to the disputed valley's annexation with Indian union territory.

The panel was attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Türkiye Yousaf Junaid, Guray Alpar, the head of the SDE, and various participants.

While shedding light on the legal, political, human rights, security and historical dimensions of the dispute, the speakers called for an immediate cessation of human rights violations by Indian occupation forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Junaid said that Jammu and Kashmir was the core dispute between India and Pakistan with far-reaching implications for the region and the world at large.

“It is imperative to seek a peaceful resolution of this longstanding dispute as per relevant UN Security Council Resolutions,” he said, referring to the grave human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK).

Alpar said the IIOJK is “the most heavily militarized zone in the world.”

He added that “atrocities committed by Indian security forces in IIOJK and the denial of the fundamental right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people depicted Indian imperialistic ambitions.”

On Aug. 5, 2019, New Delhi revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which granted Jammu and Kashmir the ability to have its own constitution, flag and a two-house legislature with the authority to enact its own laws.

Another piece of legislation passed on the same day scrapped Article 35A, which granted Jammu and Kashmir the authority to define its residents and implemented restrictions on outsiders from acquiring properties or obtaining government jobs in the region.

As a result of these changes, Jammu and Kashmir was reorganized from a state into two centrally governed Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The decision drew strong reactions from Pakistan, which claims the entire region, and China, which claims parts of Ladakh and controlled a significant portion of undivided Jammu and Kashmir prior to India and Pakistan's formation in 1947.

In response to the government's decision, several individuals, groups and political parties filed nearly 20 petitions in the apex court, calling the decision illegal and unconstitutional.

Earlier this month, the Indian Supreme Court formed a bench to hear these petitions and address the challenges to the government's decision.

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