Lawmakers from the EU and the UK have rejected India’s push to unilaterally settle the Kashmir issue, and must be settled by the citizens of Kashmir who are the primary stakeholders as reported by Dawn News.
As the 75th UNGA session approaches, officials, lawmakers and journalists from the UK, EU, Pakistan, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir concurred that people around the world must know how Kashmir has become increasingly fretful since Aug 5 last year when Indian forces sacked it, and how the situation will have far-reaching consequences across the region as tensions are at a high.
Jinnah Institute’s webinar for Kashmir joined by EU and UK lawmakers
This was stated at Jinnah Institute’s webinar titled, ‘The Future of Kashmir: A Test for Global Multilateralism and Regional Peace’.
Senator Sherry Rehman, president of the Jinnah Institute chaired the webinar session, and participants included UK Member of Parliament (MP) Andrew Gwynne, Senior journalist from IIOJK Iftikhar Gilani, Member of European Parliament (MEP) Michael Gahler, former Pakistan ambassador to the US and EU Tariq Fatemi, Indian columnist and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician Sudheendra Kulkarni, former MEP Julie Ward and IIOJK-based professor Dr Siddiq Wahid.
Senator Rehman held that the issue of Kashmir after partition of Pakistan and India has been the longest standing issue on the UN agenda, and must not be pushed aside by the global community.
Both as a strategic issue and an international dispute that lies at the fault line between two nuclear countries that have gone to war over Kashmir, the matter can not be treated as an internal issue of India, especially after the brutal unilateralism that New Delhi has shown.
Remarks by President of AJK and British MP’s
President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Sardar Masood stated during webinar that the future of Kashmir is bleak without the help of the international community who must mediate the conflict, thus pushing UK and EU officials to renew focus on IIOJK travesty before time runs out.
President AJK said that the on-ground situation is that of a foreign occupation driven by the fascist Hindutva movement. “The BJP is steering demographic change in a bid to manipulate voter turnout in its favour, and any claims about Pakistan supporting the current freedom struggle are categorically false; they should be seen as attempts to obfuscate the indigenous nature of the uprising.”
Andrew Gwynne, British Mp from the Labour party sided with the notion that the Kashmir issue deserves focus of nations all over the globe and held that citizens of the UK need to be re-educated regarding Kashmir. He held that Britain was responsible as if left the region without resolving the Kashmir issue at the time of independence and further stated that the UK had a positive role to play in the UNSC.
“The world cannot afford two nuclear states to enter into a conflict,” MP Gwynne stated during the webinar.
James Daly MP from the Conservative Party noted the significance of recognising the inalienable right of self-determination as highlighted by the UN resolution regarding Kashmir. He told about his journey to AJK in Feb 2020, where his delegation was given an all-access pass to survey the on-ground situation.
“We were treated with complete openness…unfortunately, our group was not let into India, and we were not able to speak with the Indian government in a free and open manner,” he stated.
Iftikhar Gilani, an experienced Kashmiri journalist holds that Kashmiri history, culture and language are being threatened and pushed towards extinction by the BJP’s radical Hindutva agenda against Muslims in the region. He also stated and commented on the socio-economic devastation brought on by a never-ending lockdown and communication breakdowns, this added to the human rights violations by the Indian forces in IIOJK.
GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources