MUZAFFARABAD: Former Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and member Pakistan People’s Party Barrister Sultan Mahmood has announced that a demonstration would be held in London on October 26 to draw attention to the Kashmir issue.

Counting on the large Kashmiri diaspora in the United Kingdom, Barrister Mahmood is hopeful to pull in a large crowd to the gathering that has been named ‘Million March’.

The march will begin at Trafalgar Square and conclude outside 10 Downing Street.

“The idea is to remind the international community of its decades old pledge to hold a plebiscite in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, now a nuclear flashpoint in South Asia. Kashmiris must be allowed to decide their own fate,” he said.

Barrister Mahmood said the Million March is aimed at expressing solidarity with those who have been struggling for the cause of self-determination and have made unparalleled sacrifices in the face of atrocities by the Indian state.

He criticised India’s cancellation of foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan and refusal to allow UN and other aid agencies to carry out relief and rescue activities in the flood stricken Kashmir Valley.

He added that the Scottish referendum has strengthened the cause of the Kashmiris.

“I have not only held meetings with Kashmiri community leaders, in the United Kingdom, but also with Members of Parliament who have assured me of their support for securing fundamental rights for Kashmiri people,” he said.

He expressed hope that all those who stand for justice, peace and human rights will participate in the march.

Barrister Mahmood added that day after the London march, another demonstration will be staged in Brussels to condemn military invasion of Kashmir by India on October 27, 1947.

Last week, Lord Nazir Ahmed, member of British House of Lords, announced his support for the march and said that other members of British Parliament will also support the cause.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2014