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British Parliamentarians term Kashmir situation appalling

lord-nazir-ahmed-lord-qurban-hussain-baroness-sayeeda-warsiLahore : The Prime Minister’s Special Envoys on Kashmir, Senator Lt. Gen (R), Abdul Qayyum, HI (M) and Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Shaikh, MNA met All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir at the British Parliament today. The envoys sensitized the British Parliamentarians on the ongoing gross atrocities and human rights violations by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
They called upon the British Parliamentarians and the international community to apply the same human rights standards in Kashmir as anywhere else in the world.

Gen Qayyum gave a genesis of the Kashmir issue along with UN Security Council Resolutions on it and sought United Kingdom’s support for the Kashmiris right to self-determination. He narrated the recent atrocities in the IOK in which more than 150 people were martyred, hundreds blinded by the use of pellet guns and 15,000 people lying wounded. Gen Qayyum said that Indian accusation of
Pakistan’s involvement in Uri attack was in fact an attempt to divert the world attention from the atrocities being committed by India in IOK. He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including the core issue of Kashmir, through dialogue. He also highlighted the fact that India was constantly avoiding talks.

Gen Qayyum stated: “In case there is an escalation on Pakistan’s eastern borders caused by India, Pakistan would have to shift its security forces from its western border to eastern border. This would adversely affect its fight against terrorism which eventually would affect global security.”

Dilating upon UK to resolve Kashmir dispute, the General said it would help avoid any conflict between two nuclear neighbours i.e. Pakistan and India, on an issue that is the unfinished agenda of partition. This would help Pakistan strengthen its historic relations with the UK, instead of being forced away from
countries like UK whose friendship is greatly valued.

Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Shaikh MNA apprised the parliamentarians about the current situation in Kashmir and Line of Control. He suggested that both the countries should resolve their issues through dialogue and spend the defence budget on social sector uplift and promoting education in the region. Mr Shaikh urged the Parliamentarians to send a delegation to the IOK to know the plight of the
Kashmiri people.

Both the envoys urged UK to play its role in resolution of the issue.

The British Parliamentarians termed the situation in Kashmir appalling and emphasised on the immediate resolution of the issue. They also supported Pakistan’s stance on resolving the issue through dialogue. The Lords and MPs were of the view that peaceful resolution was in the interest of both the
countries as this would allow spending on education and poverty alleviation in the region.

Concluding the discussion, H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK highlighted the Kashmir issue from human rights perspective. He hoped that concerns about plight of the Kashmiris would be passed on to the British government effectively.

Among others who attended the meeting and spoke on the Kashmir issue included Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Qurban Hussain, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Baroness Udin,Julie Cooper MP, Kate Green MP, and Chris Lesley MP. The Envoys are on an official visit to the UK to highlight the issue of Kashmir
with the British government, think tanks, human rights organisations, and the Pakistani community in the UK. The interaction of the Envoys with the British authorities and community organisations is aimed to create awareness about the human rights crisis in IOK on the international level.

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