ISLAMABAD, Feb 20 (APP):In a significant development, the sub-committee on Human Rights of European Parliament hosted an official dialogue on situation of human rights in Kashmir on Tuesday.
“This was for the first time after 2007 that the issue of Kashmir was discussed publically at an official EU forum,” a press release received here from Brussels said.
The Chair of the Sub-Committee Panzeri, in his introductory remarks, reiterated European Union (EU)’s commitment to uphold and protect human rights throughout the world.
The EU, he said, had never shied away from discussing human rights, even when it involved complex political issues.
He pointed out that Kashmir was the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of United Nations.
EU believed that dialogue among nations was necessary to resolve such issues.
He, however, pointed out that the event was focused on human rights situation in Kashmir and the plight of Kashmiris.
The discussion focused on the June 2018 report of the United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Kashmir.
Christine Chung, one of the authors of the report was especially invited on the occasion by the sub-committee.
In her comments, she highlighted the dire human rights situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir and reiterated the OHCHR’s recommendations for establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive and independent international investigation of human rights violations in Kashmir. Besides, Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, the debate was attended by large number of Members of European Parliament (MEPs), representatives of human rights and civil society organizations, think tanks, diplomats from various countries and members of Kashmiri diaspora across Europe. The MEPs who attended the event included Wajid Khan, Julie Ward, Baroness Nosheena Mubarik and others.
Overwhelming majority of these members rallied behind the recommendations of the OHCHR report and called for their full implementation.
They called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK)and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations.
The MEPs also highlighted the need for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue between Pakistan and India, and with full participation of Kashmiri people.
The event is a huge diplomatic success for Pakistan as it is the first time in more than a decade that the EU had officially organized an event on Kashmir, where our concerns regarding India’s human rights violations in IoK have been discussed, it added.
The public nature of the event also added to its value in generating awareness about the situation in the IoK.
The official nature of the event in one the most prestigious bodies of the European Parliament, the sub-committee on human rights, would also provide a solid ground for other EU institutions to raise the issue of Kashmir with the Indian government during their bilateral interactions.