Modi’s good gesture aimed at winning UNSC membership

Updated 28 Dec 2015


Member of the European Parliament Afzal Khan speaks at the press conference on Sunday. — White Star
Member of the European Parliament Afzal Khan speaks at the press conference on Sunday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Member of the European Parliament Afzal Khan on Sunday said the good gesture shown by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards Pakistan during his visits to different countries was a part of his efforts to get permanent membership to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for his country.

Mr Khan, who is also the EU security and defence committee vice-chairman, was speaking at a ‘Meet the press’ programme at the National Press Club.

Jammu and Kashmir Self-Determination Movement (Europe) Chairman Raja Najabat Hussain, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists-Afzal Butt Group President Afzal Butt and Information Adviser to the AJK government Murtaza Durrani were also present.

Mr Khan said India cannot get an advantage from such efforts unless it ensured human rights and resolved issues such as Kashmir and Khalistan.

“International community is quite concerned about basic human rights. Moreover, how can a country become a permanent member of the UNSC when it has not implemented the UN resolution on the issue of Kashmir. India has to respect the UN resolution if it wants to continue claiming that it is the largest democracy,” he said.

The European Union has linked human rights with trade so it will never allow India to continue violating human rights, he said.

Commenting on the recent Paris attacks, Mr Khan said it was considered as an attack on the whole Europe. “Those involved in the attacks had gone to Paris from Belgium, which is why there is a fear that the terms and conditions of the Schengen visa may be changed.

European Parliament member says New Delhi should implement UN resolutions on Kashmir before claiming to be largest democracy

Moreover, a number of youngsters from Europe have gone to Syria and there are apprehensions that one day they will come back and create troubles in Europe. “But the good thing is, in Europe it is believed that only the culprit should be punished. I will make sure that legislation is not made against Muslims regarding visa and other issues.”

He said the international community was also united on the issue of Syria and that it would be resolved soon.

In reply to a question, Mr Khan said in the United States 92 people were killed daily in different incidents of violence but hardly any of them were in the name of religion. It shows that there is religious tolerance.

He said Pakistan had suffered a lot because of terrorism but unfortunately its sacrifices were not recognised by the international community.

He said GSP Plus was a good development but Pakistan should not focus only on cotton. There are a number of other products which can be exported to Europe, he added.

“The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is very important and the project should be completed on time. We will seek support of the EU for the timely completion of the project,” Mr Khan said.

NA’s special committee on Kashmir

Raja Najabat Hussain told Dawn that National Assembly’s special committee on Kashmir had become dysfunctional.

“Though Maulana Fazalur Rehman is respectable to us, as the chairman of the committee he is doing nothing. Moreover, no one knows if there is any member of the committee.”

He said when the late Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan was the head of the committee, he used to visit all over the world to raise the issue of Kashmir and even foreign delegations visited Pakistan to discuss the issue. Now no one bothers about the issue, he added.

However, he said overseas Pakistanis and Kashmiris living abroad were the ambassadors of Pakistan and had been raising the issue at every platform.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2015