High Commissioner briefs British Parliamentarians on Humanitarian Crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir
Cross-Party Parliamentarians assure full support to Kashmiri victims of Indian atrocities
The High Commissioner, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria briefed the British Parliamentarians on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and called for a joint response from the international community, particularly from the UK to end gross human rights abuses there. He was speaking as a keynote speaker at the All Parties Kashmir Lobby Conference organized by Raja Najabat Hussain, Chairman Jammu Kashmir Self Determination Movement International (JKSDMI), and facilitated by All Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) at the British Parliament on 15 October 2019.
Parliamentarians of the three mainstream political parties i.e. Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats participated in the Conference. Besides, a large number of Kashmiri community, members of the civil society, representatives of human rights organizations and media persons attended the event.
The High Commissioner said that for the past seven decades, particularly since 5th August 2019, India has been perpetrating grave human rights violations in the IOK territory unabatedly with impunity. He emphasised that various manifestations of Indian atrocities, including massacres, mass-blindings, mass rapes, mass graves, fake encounters, disappearances and use of prohibited weapons against the defenceless Kashmiris are well documented by international human rights bodies, NGOs of international repute and members of the civil society, such as OHCHR, IPHRC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, US Human Rights Report on India, International People’s Tribunal and Association of Parents of Disappeared persons. These are crimes against humanity under all human rights, international conventions and statutes, added Mr Zakaria.
The High Commissioner urged an immediate and unconditional end to the bloodshed of Kashmiris in IoK; delivery of justice to the victims; accountability of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and permanent resolution of Kashmir dispute.He lauded the British parliamentarians for becoming voice of the voiceless people of IOK. He hoped that British Government would play its due role to resolve the longstanding conflict.
The British Parliamentarians forcefully expressed their displeasure and concern at the tragic situation of human rights as well as Indian blockade of IOK, which has led to severe humanitarian, political and security crisis in the Occupied Territory. They termed the unilateral change of the status of Kashmir by Modi Government an escalation of a dangerous era in South Asia. Acknowledging that the Kashmir Issue was an internationally recognised dispute awaiting implementation of UNSC resolutions, they agreed to continue to work towards ensuring alleviation of human sufferings faced by the Kashmiri people in the IOK.
The Parliamentarians were unequivocal in their stance that trade should not come before human lives and termed silence on Kashmir complicity. They said culture of putting trade above human life must end. The entire civilized world should stand up to break up the perpetual cycle of violence, torture and death, they added.
The Parliamentarians appreciated the high moral ground taken by Pakistan. They also recognized Prime Minister Imran Khan’s passionate presentation of Kashmiris’ case at the UN General Assembly. They were of the view that as a member of the Commonwealth, India should respect the core values of the organisation including respect for human rights. The MPs urged the UK Government to put pressure on India to end human rights abuses in Kashmir.
The Parliamentarians reiterated their commitment to the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. They assured their constant support for the legitimate cause of the Kashmiri people. They said they would continue to raise voice while helping to gather momentum and would not stop until the issue is resolved and justice is delivered to the Kashmiri victims.
The Kashmiris hailing from IOK, where they have their other family members, completely cut off for 72 days, highlighted their plight and expressed their frustration at the helplessness, international community’s apathy and lack of interest on the part of permanent members of the UN Security Council.