Open Letter to the delegates of G20

I appeal to your good office and governments to not let go of this once in a life time opportunity
Open Letter to the delegates of G20
Special arrangement

Honorable delegates and observers of G-20 countries. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Srinagar. It gives me great pleasure and a humbling sense of pride that G-20 sessions are being conducted in my homeland.

However, there is a part of my homeland that remains under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. On October 22, 1947 Pakistan army along with around 50,000 mercenaries from the tribal belt in the former North Western Frontier Province now Khyber Paktoonkhawa of Pakistan launched an unprovoked attack on the independent state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In order to save our people from the invaders our King, Maharaja Hari Singh, singed an instrument of accession with the then governor general of India Lord Mountbatten. This led to our state becoming an integral part of the Republic of India.

Honorable delegates and observers, for the past 75 years 13,297 Square Kilometers of the territory called Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well as 72,971 Square kilometers of the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan remain under the illegal occupation of Pakistan and its military establishment.

A total population of approximately 6.5 million are suffering in the above mentioned occupied territories due to the plunder of our natural resources and denial of basic human rights.

Institutionalized indoctrination of my people continues unabated. Terror financing has found new channels to reach both occupied territories as well as in Pakistan.

Terrorist training camps have been established openly in the forests adjacent to the Line of Control that demarcates the artificial border between Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Recently, these elements have regrouped under a new name called Tehreek e Tahafuz e Jammu Kashmir (Movement for the protection of Jammu and Kashmir) with an active armed wing called Janbaz Force (Veteran Force). This group is led by a former Pakistan army personal and is currently stationed in the forests of Poonch in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Similarly, in the capital of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, terrorists are present with the aim of launching terrorist attacks and instigate fear in Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Our territories which remain under Pakistan occupation are suffering from what is nothing short of a perpetual humanitarian crisis.

Politically, we are not allowed to run for public office unless we sign an oath of allegiance with Pakistan. This is in violation with the United Nations resolutions that give us freedom to choose between Pakistan and India as the UN has declared our occupied lands as disputed territories.

Economically, there has been no of industrial or infrastructure development in Pakistan occupied territories of Jammu and Kashmir and mostly our youth have been forced by circumstance to migrate to the Middle East, West Asia and Europe as economic refugees.

Our natural resources are being plundered constantly by Pakistan. To give just one example I would like to draw your attention to the fact the at the time of occupation, in 1947, 42% of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s land mass was covered with forests which has now shrunk to 14% due to relentless felling of trees that are then sold in the timber markets of Pakistan for high profits.

Our mountains have deposits of one of the best Ruby stone and other gems found in the world. Large coal reserves as well as lime stone, gypsum and above all lithium and gold are precious natural resources that are being stolen from our lands by Pakistan day in and day out.

Honorable delegates and observers, today we suffer from long hours of load shedding despite the fact that all the rivers that flow into Pakistan originate in Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Our rivers have been diverted in order to build hydropower projects for generating power for Pakistan.

Honorable delegates and observers, another aspect I want to draw your attention to is the invasion of Chinese state owned companies in the above mentioned occupied territories. A $62-billion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of the Chinese economic expansionist Belt and Road Initiative is threatening our economic independence and environment.

Dams have been and being built by China in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan which have caused huge ecological impact for the worst.

Chinese People’s Liberation Army personal disguised as engineers and technicians are present in large numbers in both occupied territories.

The list goes on and on of the political, economic and social injustices that we have been facing for the past 75 years locked inside the iron curtain of Pakistan.

Honorable delegates and observers, I appeal to your good office and governments to not let go of this once in a life time opportunity to come to Srinagar and not raise your concerns about the illegal occupation our territories by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The solution to end our misery and oppression will be possible only through a collective demand made by the G-20 participant countries that Pakistan withdraw its military and all aliens from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This is first and foremost a demand in compliance with the United Nation Security Council resolution 47 of April 1948.

Honorable delegates and observers, let me remind you that our king had acceded to the Republic of India under the Government of India Independence Act (1947) passed by the British parliament and approved by the Royal crown of the then Great Britain.

The only solution to end the terrorist onslaught by Pakistan on Srinagar is to advocate for us to reunite with mother India and bring the Kashmir crisis to its logical close.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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