ISLAMABAD: A member of the British parliament, Mirza Khalid Mehmood, on Sunday accused the West, including the United Kingdom, of hypocrisy on human rights and civil liberties.

“Those who deliver lectures on human rights and civil liberties behave differently when it comes to Kashmir,” he said at a press conference with Azad Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry here.

He said India claimed to be the largest democracy of the world, but it continued to perpetrate gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

He said now was the time for the West to stop overlooking these human rights abuses and pursuing double standards on issues involving basic human rights.

India can no longer hoodwink international community on Kashmir, says AJK president

He vowed to continue efforts to raise the issue of India-occupied Kashmir in its true perspective at all international fora.

Speaking on the occasion, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry said that the G-20 Working Group meeting being held by India in Srinagar had failed because key members of the group, including China and Turkiye, had refused to attend the conference.

He said that along with China and Turkiye, some other members of the Group were most likely to skip the meeting.

Referring to the Indian government’s nefarious designs to use the high-profile event to achieve its strategic objectives, he said that G-20 nations’ decision to skip the conference being held in the restive region was a clear indication that they have refused to become brand ambassadors of India’s so-called normalcy narrative on Kashmir.

He said that India’s main motive behind organising the G-20 summit in IoK was meant to hoodwink the international community by creating a false impression that everything was normal in held Kashmir.

Highlighting the precarious situation in the region, the two noted that the political and human rights situation in the held territory had further worsened since the Modi government stripped the region of its special status on August 5, 2019.

They said that on the one hand India had intensified human rights violations and on the other a massive onslaught to change the region’s demography and its political landscape had been launched to convert the Muslim majority of the state into a minority.

Voicing their grave concern over the abysmal situation in the region, they said it was high time that the international community take effective cognizance of the matter and pressurise India to stop bloodshed and violence in held Kashmir.

Citing United Nations Commission on Human Rights report, they said that the commission had released a detailed report on the human rights situation in the IoK in 2018 and called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the ongoing human rights violations being committed by the Indian occupation forces in held Kashmir.

They said it was imperative that the world community influence the government of India to allow a fact-finding mission to visit the occupied territory and implement the recommendations of the report the Commission had released in 2018.

The AJK president said that on his call protest demonstrations were being held all across the globe, including Washington, London, Brussels, Geneva and Paris.

He said the main purpose of these protests was to register Kashmiris’ anguish and resentment against India’s decision to hold the G-20 conference in held Kashmir.

He said the international community must realise that the key to peace in the region was the settlement of the long-running Kashmir dispute.

He said India wanted to mislead the world about Kashmir by holding the G-20 conference there and it wanted to give the impression that held Kashmir was a peaceful area.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2023

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