ISLAMABAD, Feb 20 (APP):Members of the sub-committee on Human Rights of European Parliament have called for implementation of the recommendations contained in a report of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-United Nations) regarding the grave human rights situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).
They also called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in the Indian-held Kashmir and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations.
The members also highlighted the need for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue between Pakistan and India, and with full participation of Kashmiri people.
They expressed their support in a meeting of the sub-committee on Human Rights of European Parliament which was held to officially exchange views on human rights situation in IoK, Pakistan Embassy in Brussels in a press release on Wednesday said.The Members of the European Parliament who attended the event included Wajid Khan, Julie Ward, Baroness Nosheena Mubarik, Amjad Bashir, David Martin, Jordi Sole, Sion Simon, Jean Lambert, Richard Corbett, Theresa Griffin and Jo Leinen.
Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, and a 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 attended the event.
They stressed upon the EU to realize the binding charter of the UN over human rights and should cease its trade with India indulged in the human rights violations.
The physical and psychological violence in IoK was very serious especially against the women which had impacts upon their lives. The ‘half widows’ plight’ also deserved attention who did not know the fate of their abducted husbands, they added.
The members of Parliament further said the Indian army soldiers were also indulged in undignified practices against the Kashmiri women. The children and women were the worst and consistent victims of this violence.
They called upon the EU member states to ensure that this dispute did not drag on for many years. If Indian government did not have anything to hide, then it should allow the international inspection of the IoK and through it, the way could be paved for the settlement of the issue and give a future to the people which had been denied of this opportunity for many decades.
The people in IOK had been denied of their basic human rights, they lamented.
They said the life in the area, which was once regarded as heaven on earth, had turned into a hell. Sexual violence, mass disappearance and attacks on the innocent civilians had now become a part of the daily life.
The Indian occupation forces were also indulged in fake encounters resulting in the deaths of innocent Kashmiris, they added.
Terming the situation ‘unacceptable’ they also questioned as to why the Indian government failed to even initiate prosecution of soldiers involved in the inhuman killings.
This was for the first time after 2007 that the issue of Kashmir was discussed publically at an official EU forum.
The official nature of the event in one the most prestigious bodies of the European Parliament, the sub-committee on human rights, will also provide a solid ground for other EU institutions to raise the issue of Kashmir with the Indian government during their bilateral interactions.
In his introductory remarks, Chair of the sub-committee Panzeri reiterated 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 the issue of Kashmir was the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of United Nations. The 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 in the sub-committee. 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 the human rights violations in IoK.
The event was a huge diplomatic success for Pakistan as it was the first time in more than a decade that the EU had officially organized an event in which human rights violations in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir were discussed.
The public nature of the event also added to its value in generating awareness about the situation in the IoK.