President AJ&K terms Kashmir situation catastrophic; calls for immediate world attention
British Parliamentarians reiterate resolve to send delegation to Kashmir
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir termed Kashmir situation catastrophic and called upon the international community to pay immediate attention to stop killings, torture and maiming of the people who are demanding their right to self-determination. The President was speaking at the Kashmir Black Day event organized by the High Commission for Pakistan in London and Jammu and Kashmir SSelf-DeterminationMovement, at the British Parliament on 26 October 2016. He is visiting the UK to sensitize the British government, the Parliament and the people about human rights violations of the Kashmiri people by the Indian security forces.
The president stated that the Kashmiris are fed up with the continuous denial of their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN resolutions and now they have stood up to break the cycle of Indian subjugation. He further said that demand for self-determination is not a rhetoric but the legitimate right of the Kashmiris.
President Masood Khan said he would ask the UK government and Parliamentarians for three things:
a) To play their role in stopping human rights abuses in Kashmir;
b) To support the rightful cause of the self-determination of the Kashmiris; and
c) To ask the British Prime Minister to raise the issue of human rights
violations in Kashmir with her Indian counterpart during her upcoming visit to India before signing the Free Trade Agreement.
Highlighting the apathy demonstrated by the international community, President AJ&K said that the world is applying double standards of human rights in case of Kashmir as if it is not part of this planet. However, he termed it a welcome development that the British parliamentarians have agreed to send a cross party delegation on both sides of Kashmir to ascertain the facts.
The President forcefully refuted Indian assertion of Kashmir being its integral part by saying that the Kashmiris never accepted Indian rule and in fact there is a plebiscite in the form of public demonstrations against India on daily basis. He also rebutted Indian propaganda of confusing freedom struggle in Kashmir with terrorism. The President said that freedom struggle in Kashmir is purely indigenous being carried out by unarmed youth, and hence, could not be termed terrorism. To set the record straight, Sardar Masood Khan stated that the UN resolutions on Kashmir would remain valid until they are implemented in their true spirit.
About Indian government tactics to divert the world attention from human rights abuses in Kashmir, the President said: “First, they blamed Pakistan for Uri attack, then by farcical drama of surgical strikes inside Pakistan and now they are continuously violating the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC). But such tactics cannot cover up the gross human rights abuses where young people are being killed and jailed for just raising independence slogans.”
The British Parliamentarians termed human rights situation in Kashmir shocking and appalling. They reiterated their resolve to send a cross-party delegation to both sides of Kashmir to know the situation on ground.
Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK said that it is encouraging to see the British Parliament resonating with voices in support of the voiceless Kashmiris. He commended the role of the British Parliamentarians in highlighting the plight of the Kashmiris in the parliament. The President commended the role of Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora for highlighting the Kashmir situation in the UK. He also asked them to lobby with their MPs for the cause of Kashmir.
Earlier the President held detailed discussions on the Kashmir situation with the members of the British Shadow Cabinet and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir.
The Kashmir Black day and other meetings were attended by David Nuttall MP, Chairman APPG on Kashmir, Khalid Mehmood MP, Liz McInnes MP, Steve Baker MP,Debbie Abrahams MP, Sir Gerald Howarth MP, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Qurban Hussain, Imran Hussain MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Clive Betts MP, Rob Marris MP,Kelvin Hopkins MP, Julie Cooper MP, Shabana Mehmood MP, Naz Shah MP, Baroness Zahida Manzoor and Raja Najabat Hussain.