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Pakistan marks Kashmir Solidarity Day with Korean, Pakistani dignitariesKoreans have sympathy for Kashmir as they suffer from division

The Embassy of Pakistan in Seoul hosted a Kashmir Solidarity Day event at the Capital Hotel in Seoul Feb. 5, 2015 with the attendance of dignitaries from Korean society as well as from the Pakistani Embassy.
Attending the meeting, among the hosts and guests, were Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan of Pakistan, Chairman Oh Jae-hee of the Korea-Pakistan Friendship Association, Professor Ahn Choung-jun of Jingeomdari Academy (Maj. Gen. ret.), President & CEO Khurshid Ahmed Khan of JKF Ltd., Professor Eun-ik Son of Keimyung University Dangsan Medical Center in Daegu and Vice President Park Byung-uk of The Korea Post Media.

▲From left, Maj. Gen (Ret) Ahn Choung-ju (former Commanding General and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for UNMOGIP), former Korean Ambassador Oh Jae-hee to Pakistan, Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan of Pakistan, Professor Son Eun-ik of Keimyung University, former Honorary Investment Counselor Sooba Khan of Board of Investment of Pakistan, Brig. Gen. Naveed Ali of Pakistan Army and Rep. Khurshid Ahmed Khan of JKR Ltd.

Officiated by Community Relations Counsellor Muhammed Humair Karim of the Pakistan Embassy, the seminar heard speeches given by Ambassador Khan of Pakistan, Maj. Gen. Ahn (ret.), Prof. Son of Keimyung University and Rep. Khurshid Ahmed Khan of JKRLtd.
Maj. Gen. Ahn (commander of the UN Peace-keeping Forces in Kashmir) said that all the peoples of the world should not turn a blind eye to the misery of the victims of the Kashmir dispute. Ahn regretted that the people of Kashmir are still struggling for their right of self-determination which was promised to them by the UN Security Council Resolutions. (See experts at the end of this article.)

These views were also shared by other Korean speakers, including Professor Dr. Son Eun ik of Keimyung University, President of Korea-Azad Jammu & Kashmir Association and Ambassador Oh Jae-hee (first Korean ambassador to Pakistan).
Ambassador Khan of Pakistan in Seoul highlighted that Pakistan would continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri brethren. He stated, inter-alia, that there could be no durable peace in a nuclearized South Asia without the resolution of the Kashmir Dispute but India has failed to respond to Pakistan peace overtures.
The event was also attended by a number of Pakistanis including Pakistani students.

Excerpts from the speech of Maj. Gen. Ahn (ret.):

Last year we faced various and complex problems in Korea and around the world ? such as Ebola virus and economic recession overseas and the Sewol-Ho Incident in Korea, a ship that sank in the sea making the Korean people fall in deep sorrows and causingnational economic difficulties.
In various situations I mentioned before, the right to live as human being should be considered the most important thing. In the other words, human rights must be guaranteed in any situation. Therefore, I strongly believe that Kashmir problem should be resolved with peaceful methods as soon as possible.

As you know, I am still proud of having served as the Commander of UNMOGIP, I had numerous first-hand experiences on the area of Kashmir.The most important thing for this over 66-year-long conflict is to search for a permanent settlement. This is not only for Kashmir and the two concerned parties of India and Pakistan, but also for the entire world.
Like the situation at the DMZ in the Korea, the military standoff between India and Pakistan cannot be underestimated. Moreover, Pakistan and India should withdraw their forces and start to build a friendly relationship.

The cause of this tension is the issue of Kashmir, the most crucial agenda between India and Pakistan.
In 1949 the United Nations decided to grant the people of Kashmir the right of self-determination over their destiny and let them choose either India or Pakistan.

The majority of the people in Kashmir are Muslims, so they might wish to be on the side of Pakistan, an Islamic country.
The area of Kashmir was once called ‘the Alps of the Orient’ but now, there are people and the innocent nature crying out with agony. Besides, there were only the heavily armed soldiers positioned every one hundred meters and devastated buildings and debris throughout the area. No hope, no vision, only despair prevails.

Their crying still lingers on in my ears. How sublime and invaluable the word Freedom is! No more toleration toward the attitude of indifferent observation!
We, all the people in the world, should do whatever is needed to stop this pain: it is no other person’s business butit is our obligation.
I hope that the leaders and peoples of India and Pakistan have faith and wisdom to peacefully solve all the problems.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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