Birmingham mayor lauds efforts to raise Kashmir dispute globally

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of United Kingdom leaders of Kashmir- and Pakistan-origin on Monday lauded Islamabad’s efforts and the Kashmir Committee chairman for raising the Kashmir dispute at the international level.

The delegation was led by Birmingham Mayor Chaudhary Muhammad Afzal along with, Councilor Waseem Zafar and Cabinet Member for Transportation and Environment Birmingham City Council, among others.

The delegation represented the largest Kashmiri diaspora community in the world, residing in Birmingham.

The delegates showered praises on Shehryar Afridi for adding new vigour to the Kashmir narrative.

Kashmir Committee Chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi deplored the fact that India’s tyranny in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir was being reinforced.

“The Line of Control is not only a line dividing the heavenly valley of Kashmir but it is also a line that, metaphorically and in many cases literally, depicts the division of Kashmir between Heaven and Hell. On the Indian side of the LOC in Jammu and Kashmir are clouds of doom and gloom whereas the other side in Azad Kashmir is growing towards peace and prosperity,” he said.

Afridi said that in IoK, the occupational Indian forces are employing all tools of genocide against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“While on the other side of the LOC, Pakistan is putting an all-out effort for raising the standard of Human living for the Kashmiris,” he added.

Afridi further added that on one side the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir were enjoying the fruits of development while the residents in Indian IoK were facing pellet guns, humiliation and atrocities every single day.

“In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, citizens are reminiscing sports and festivities whereas in IoK citizens are being buried by their loved ones. When mothers and children are enjoying festivities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, IIOJK had cases of half-widows and half-orphans being covered up by the Illegal Indian Occupational forces,” he added.

Chairman Kashmir Committee Shehryar Khan Afridi appraised the delegation of the role of the Parliamentary Committee of Kashmir Role of Kashmir Committee in raising awareness of the Kashmir dispute globally. He told that the committee consists of 28 members from both Houses of Parliament and Parliamentary supremacy is ensured through the functioning of the Parliamentary Committee.

He briefed the delegation on new initiatives launched by the Kashmir Committee to revive and re-energize the narrative on Kashmir. He told that the world is taking notice of the fact that in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, tyranny is order of the day and Kashmiris are being subjected to genocide and their voices are being muzzled and war crimes are being committed by the occupational regime.

“But in Azad Kashmir, there is development, festivity and a thriving nation. The recently held first season of Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the true face of Kashmir’s culture and heritage has been projected to the world audience,” he added.

Afridi also shared his experiences of his visit to the United Kingdom for lobbying on the Kashmir dispute. He said that the Kashmir Committee has not only taken all stakeholders of Kashmir dispute on board but also made them a part of the Committee proceedings and the efforts to raise awareness on Kashmir dispute at all levels.

He also added that the United Nations plays like a silent spectator when any world power invades a smaller country and this is raising serious questions over the fate of the United Nations.

“I fear that the UN may face a similar fate like League of the Nations if it fails to play its role in decades old disputes like Jammu and Kashmir,” remarked Afridi.

He said that unfortunately a humanitarian issue of Kashmir has been politicized due to Indian hegemonic designs in South Asia as Modi is trying to pitch India as net security provider for the region.

He said that the world is heading towards the same phase which was persistent immediately before World War II.

“We are constantly reminding the world about the misery being faced by the Kashmiri people. The expose by EU Disinfo Lab has proved that the Indian state narrative is based on blatant and baseless lies and it doesn’t hold ground. The world needs to rise above petty self-interests and give human rights a priority. Else the situation may lead to further complicating the conflict,” he concluded.

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