Speakers at an inaugural session of a one-day national conference on “Junagadh Challenges and prospects” called for reinvigorating the efforts by government, academia and youth to plead the longstanding case of Junagadh illegal occupation by India at international forums. “Releasing of a new political map, although played an integral role in projection of this issue and seeking support for this cause, will not merely be enough for its resolution but the whole nation has to respond to this challenge not only the government”, they observed. The conference, held here on Tuesday, comprised of over six sessions including four academic sessions, was organized by Muslim Institute to highlight the legal status of the Junagadh issue. Speakers asserted that Junagadh was an integral part of Pakistan which was illegally and immorally occupied by India.”Pakistan needs to persistently pursue its claim on Junagadh at all international forums for which a more cohesive and persistent policy is required”. Speakers made it clear that “India occupied Junagadh forcefully which was absolutely negated by the then Prime Minister, Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, and today we negate vehemently all Indian claims on Junagadh”. Speakers put in high esteem the methodology and manner adopted by the Muslim Institute to carry forward the issue through organizing this conference and engaging the academician in research on this issue from different aspects. They also praised the academic maturity, serious academic work, and especially the professional manner in which the work has taken. Speakers highlighted that Junagadh was a unique issue and Nawab of Junagadh continued to be the sovereign in exile. Junagadh’s Instrument of accession with the state of Pakistan had an absolute validity under the auspices of international law. Speakers appreciated the Pakistan’s government releasing of the new political map which has secured special importance in the eye of international law, terming the country’s support for the cause of Junagadh as crucial. The speakers said Pakistan honored all international treaties in letter and spirit and considered that honoring a treaty was part of honoring international law and the norms of the international community. “India is not a country but a region and all the nations of this region have the right to independence”, they observed. Speakers highlighted need to conduct more academic work on Junagadh issue and gave special leverage to the Junagadh community. They pledged that supporting Junagadh was part of our national duty and acknowledged the courage and absolute resolve presented by the Nawab and Dewan of Junagadh state in carrying forward the case of Junagadh. Speaking as a chief guest on the occasion, Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan, Gen. (retd) Ehsan Ul Haq said Junagadh was also an unfinished agenda of Pak-India partition like Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIoJK) which has to come to the logical conclusion some day. “Every aspect of Junagadh state has a strong legal foundation and reinforce the cause of IIoJK also”, he added. He said nations which did not display resolve and determination to safeguard their legal and legitimate rights could never be secured and respected and even their survival remains in jeopardy. “We have to tell the world that we are a determined nation that will never abandon its legal, just, and rightful claims”. “This is the era of `narratology’ since influx of social media platforms and if you can build a strong narrative to highlight such cause at international forums through mobilizing the researchers, intellectuals and youth of the country, you will be able to succeed”, he said. In his presidential remarks, Nawab of Junagadh State, Nawab Muhammad Jahangir Khanji, thanked the Prime Minister, Imran Khan and his government for reiterating its stance through sharing Junagadh as part of Pakistan through the political map. He said it was heartening to know that Pakistan has not forgotten the Junagadh state and the way its media, scholars and the state was reinvigorating their struggle for meaningful resolution of Junagadh issue clearly proved, “Junagadh is Pakistan”. Dewan of Junagadh State and Chairman Muslim Institute, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali, Former Principal, Center for International Peace and Society, NUST, Maj Gen (Retd) Shahid Ahmad Hashmat, International law expert, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Former Additional Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Mr. Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi Qureshi, Scholar from Department of History IIUI, Dr. Mujeeb Ahmad were among the speakers.