–AJK president says Britain needs to stop India from committing aggression against innocent Kashmiris in occupied region
–Participants say non-resolution of issue increased people’s suffering, has adverse bearing on socio-economic situation
–753 Kashmiris, including 80 children and 18 women, killed in past two years
LONDON: A conference concerning Kashmir issue in London unanimously approved a resolution to express solidarity with Kashmiris while urging the world bodies to play their due role in putting an end to gross human rights violations in the occupied region.
The resolution presented by British MP Lord Qurban Hussain at International Kashmir Conference in London, which was attended by Azad Kashmir President Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, British parliamentarians, councillors and leaders of Kashmiri expatriates among others.
The participants urged the international community, members of the civil society, the United Nations and relevant international organisations to take effective measures for the addressal of Kashmir issue.
Speaking at the event that went ahead in spite of strong opposition put up by the Indian government, the AJK president urged the United Kingdom to play its due role to stop India from committing gross human rights violations in the occupied Himalayan region.
Masood said the Kashmiris were struggling peacefully for the right to self-determination. He urged the British parliamentarians to use their influence for the resolution of Kashmir issue.
He said Britain was an important member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), so it must utilise its approach in resolving Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and as per the wishes of Kashmiri people.
Addressing the conference, Member of the British House of Lords, Sayeeda Warsi talked about sexual violence in occupied Kashmir being used as a tool of war is most horrific.
Labour MP and shadow British Foreign Minister Debbie Abrahams said the international community needed to take interest in the issue of Kashmir and their right of self-determination. She said India, being a member of commonwealth, should respect human rights.
Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said the UK government, given its role in the issue, needs put in efforts for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Labour MP Sharron Debbie said Kashmir has become a horror story, adding that peace could never be achieved through violent means.
Norway’s ex-prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevick said Kashmir was one of the oldest conflicts, where people were suffering and huge abuses had led to refugee problem. “I visited Kashmir and was horrified to see the humanitarian situation,” he stated.
The event also discussed the reports issued by UNHCR in June 2018, Amnesty International’s report on use of pellets guns in 2017, and J&K NGO International People’s Tribunal (IPTK) report in 2009 on the presence of unnamed and unmarked mass graves in various districts of Kashmir.
It noted that dozens of massacres, including Gaw Kadal, Sopore, Handwara, Mashali Mohallah, Saderkoot Bala, Zakoora and by pass, Hawal, Khanyaar, Lal Chowk, Bhibhera, Kupwara, Chittisinghpura, Pathribal and many others, were committed, but justice has not been delivered to Kashmiris.
It further noted that the Indian government failed to provide justice to the victims of Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape even after a lapse of 28 years.
In addition, it underlined that people blinded by the pellet guns should be examined and provided necessary medical assistance to alleviate their sufferings.
The caucus further noted that non-resolution of Kashmir issue has resulted in the sufferings of Kashmiri people, threat to the regional security and has adverse bearing on the socio-economic situation of people.
The resolution further said at least 753 Kashmiris, including 80 children and 18 women, have been killed from 8 July 2016 to 30 September 2018. It further noted that over 20,000 people were injured, thousands have been arrested arbitrarily and hundreds of women have been gang raped and molested.
It may be noted here Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is also in London to participate in the ceremony.
Speaking at the International Kashmir Conference on Monday, the foreign minister said that it’s encouraging to note the huge support for Kashmir cause in the United Kingdom (UK) by all parties’ parliamentary group.
Talking about the success of the two-hour event to the journalists inside the Pakistan High Commission, Qureshi thanked all MPs from Conservative and Labour parties present in the gathering but particularly thanked, the shadow foreign secretary of the Labour Party, Emily Thornberry and MP Debbie Abrahams.
The conference was also addressed by different British parliamentarians, councillors, leaders of Kashmiri expatriates, including Waltham Forest Council Mayor Cilia Lytle Jon among others.
The UK had earlier rejected Indian concerns over the event, saying: “UK Members of Parliament are independent of government; it is for individual members to decide who they meet and for what purpose.”