MUZAFFARABAD: A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and some other delegates from United Kingdom and Canada have supported the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people and urged the world to come forward to stop their suffering.
These views were expressed by MEP Julie Ward, Canadian human rights activist Ken Stone, Manchester City Council member Yasmin Dar and others at a reception held in their honour by Abdul Majid Khan, parliamentary leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in AJK Legislative Assembly on Sunday.
“The excessive use of force to crush the people in (India-held) Jammu and Kashmir is the worst kind of human rights violation,” said MEP Ward on the occasion.
She said that the United Nations resolutions were the bedrock of the Jammu and Kashmir issue and the international community should settle this dispute in the larger interest of the people of South Asia.
“The use of pellet guns in Kashmir against the innocent youth and women highlights the violent image of India which should be condemned,” she said.
“The people of India-held Kashmir are fighting for their basic rights and I assure them that every human being feels the intensity of their suffering,” she said.
The MEP said that access to water was the fundamental right of every human being and if India went on to block waters of Pakistan it would also be considered a basic human right violation.
“We will not only condemn it but also raise the voice against such a move by New Delhi in the European Union,” she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Stone termed the use of pellet guns on the unarmed Kashmiris a crime against the humanity.
“The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is a looming threat to the South Asian peace and security and the world powers like the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the Group of Eight Industrialised Nations ought to come forward to exert pressure on India for a permanent settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
The Canadian peace and rights activist said he feared that the Kashmir dispute could trigger a nuclear war anytime between Pakistan and India, which he said would be counterproductive for global peace.
He called upon the international human rights watchdogs and peace activists to come forward to play their role for the peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, the PTI leader said that Kashmiris on both sides of the divide expected from freedom-loving and conscientious nations and individuals of the world to contribute towards ending their suffering at the hands of Indian authorities.
He said that Kashmiris had given chance to peace time and again but instead of resolving this internationally acknowledged dispute through peaceful means, Indian authorities were resorting to use of brute force to suppress the Kashmiris.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Raja Najabat Hussain, chairman of UK-based Jammu and Kashmir Self-Determination Movement, Councillor Yasmin Dar and PTI AJK chapter senior vice president and former minister Khawaja Farooq Ahmed.
Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2017