UK, EU parliamentarians pay homage to former AJK president



British and European Union parliamentarians paid homage to former Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan on Sunday for highlighting the Kashmir cause, terming his tenure a 'golden era' for the occupied valley.

Sardar Masood's tenure concluded on August 24, as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)'s Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry was elected 28th president of AJK.

His contributions for Kashmiris' political rights were hailed through separate video messages by Shadow Home Minister UK Jess Phillips, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons Afzal Khan, Chair Labour Friends of Kashmir Andrew Gwynne, Chair Conservative Friends of Kashmir James Daly, former Member of European Parliament Phil Bennion and MPs Kate Hollern and Rebecca Long Bailey.

The parliamentarians paid tribute to the former AJK president for highlighting the Kashmir issue at the international level and for maintaining constant liaison with institutions and parliaments across the globe.

They added that Khan successfully advocated the cause in the British and European parliaments and briefed the MPs and MEPs in an unprecedented manner.

Read 15-member AJK cabinet sworn-in

Due to his efforts, they added, parliamentarians raised their voice against the atrocities being committed by Indian occupational forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

The lawmakers urged the government of Pakistan to appoint an experienced politician and a former diplomat like Khan to continue highlighting the issue at the global level.

Moreover, young Kashmiri leaders, namely Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) Chairman Altaf Ahmed Bhat and Tehreek-e-Kashmir TeK UK President Raja Fahim Kayani lauded Khan's efforts and dedication for the rights of Kashmiris.

The leaders appreciated Khan for continuing to raise the issue despite the Covid-19 pandemic. They urged the government to appoint the former president as a deputy foreign minister or chairman of the Kashmir Committee to allow him to continue utilising his abilities for the Kashmir cause.

In the July 25 polls, the PTI secured 26 general seats of the AJK Legislative Assembly, followed by 11 by the PPP, six by PML-N and one each by Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference and Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)