Speakers at a Webinar organised by the Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) have urged the international community to re-double its efforts to help resolve the Kashmir dispute peacefully. According to Kashmir Media Service, the webinar titled ‘19 July Resolution: Accession to Pakistan’ was held to mark the 74th Accession to Pakistan Day. It was attended by noted human rights activists, scholars, academicians, international law experts and representatives of civil society rights organisations and political leaders. The event was moderated by KIIR Chairman, Altaf Hussain Wani. In his opening remarks, the KIIR Chairman highlighted the significance of the day, saying that July 19 was a defining moment in Kashmir’s recent history. “The adoption of the unanimous resolution demonstrated Kashmiris’ resolute and unshakable faith in Pakistan and their unwavering commitment to join the country,” he said. Terming it as a landmark achievement of the Muslim Conference, Wani said, “It was on this day when Kashmiri leadership met under extraordinary circumstances at former AJK president Sadar Ibraheem Khan’s residence in Srinagar and adopted the historic resolution. The day, he said, marks the turning point in Kashmir’s political history, which practically set a firm guideline for the future generations of Kashmiris to achieve the cherished goal. Drawing parallels between the present and past situations in the Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), the speakers recounted the wounds inflicted upon the people of Kashmir by the tyrant Maharaja and the Indian rulers. They said, “As far as the civil liberties are concerned, Maharaja was no different from the current Indian rulers.” “Under the Dogra rule Kashmiris had witnessed severe restrictions; civil and political rights such as freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law remained severely restricted,” they said. “The same situation was created in 1947 by the Maharaja and his allied forces in Jammu and Kashmir as Kashmiris are facing today,” the speakers said. Referring to Maharaja’s policies of deceit and deception they said, “Being the sole representative organisation of the Kashmiri Muslims’ aspirations, the Muslim Conference took the historic initiative notwithstanding the restrictions.” Voicing their concerns over the present political and human rights situation in the region, the speakers said that the Narendra Modi-led regime had broken all records of brutality and barbarism. “The Indian government’s August 5, 2019 move bears all the marks of authoritarianism,” they said, adding that the unilateral decision that robbed Kashmiris of their distinctive political, cultural and national identity was undemocratic and unlawful. The move, they said, posed a serious existential threat to the Kashmiris who feel completely dispossessed, demoralised and marginalised. While essential fundamental freedoms and democratic rights remain severely restricted, people in occupied Kashmir continue to battle for survival, they added. “Even today political activists are accused of secessionism, and charges of sedition are levelled against them under draconian laws,” they deplored. “Human rights defenders, civil society activists, academicians, lawyers and even journalists are being subjected to surveillance, harassment, and sometimes imprisonment under black laws such as Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA),” they said. “On the other hand, continued bloodshed, violence and killings of Kashmiri youth by Indian occupational forces continue to wreak havoc on the lives of Kashmiris,” the speakers said. “Despite the Indian government’s repressive policies, Kashmir’s young generation is scripting the history of resilience and courage by shedding their blood to achieve the collective cause of freedom,” they said. The speakers appealed to the global community to speak on the issue and play a crucial role to resolve the lingering dispute peacefully in line with the UN Security Council resolutions. The speakers hailed Pakistan and other brotherly countries for their continued support to the Kashmir cause. They also appreciated the UN Human Rights Council and other global rights groups for raising their concern over the worsening human rights situation in IOJK.