Moazzam Ahmad Khan, High Commissioner for Pakistan to the UK has said the conflict in Kashmir continues to pose grave threat to peace and stability in the region involving two nuclear powers with a history of wars over the dispute. He was speaking at the Kashmir Webinar on International Day of Peace organized by Jammu and Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International (JKSDMI) on 21 September 2020.
The webinar was attended by British and Pakistani Parliamentarians, Kashmiri leaders and civil society representatives who expressed serious concern over ongoing human rights abuses in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Raja Najabat Hussain, Chairman JKSDMI moderated the event.
Noting the importance of the International Day of Peace, the High Commissioner said Pakistan would continue to warn the world community about the dangers India’s actions pose to international peace and stability. He said the world must understand that peace in the region is inextricably linked to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Speaking about the ongoing atrocities committed by the Indian occupation forces in IIOJK, Mr Khan referred to the relevant reports published by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, OHCHR and international media which amply highlight the gross human rights abuses of the Kashmiri people. He said these reports together with those speaking for the rights of the Kashmiri people are already making a difference and the Kashmir issue has returned to the international spotlight. The High Commissioner said the Prime Minister of Pakistan has committed himself to become an Ambassador for the Kashmiris and continues to personally spearhead this campaign worldwide. Mr Khan reiterated Pakistan’s commitment with the Kashmiris and demanded the world to play its role in ending the sufferings of the people of Kashmir.
Expressing serious concerns over ongoing human rights abuses in IIOJK by Indian occupation forces, the speakers voiced their support for the oppressed Kashmiris. They said that Kashmiris under the Indian occupation are suffering from one of the most brutal oppressions in the world. They were concerned that lockdown during the pandemic has made Kashmiri lives more miserable as they have no access to medical facilities and communication networks. This necessitates immediate intervention by the international community and multilateral institutions, the speakers emphasized.
The participants of the Webinar were of the opinion that demographic change in IIOJK is a glaring violation of international laws and would further deprive the Kashmiris of their land and opportunities. Sardar Masood Khan, President AJ&K, shared with the participants that so far as many as 1.7 million non-Kashmiri Hindus have been granted Kashmiri domiciles which would drastically change the demography of the region. The speakers emphasized that any trade and economic cooperation with India should be contingent upon its respect for human rights in Kashmir. They undertook to continue raising the voice at appropriate forums including the British Parliament and with the UK Government.
The speakers/participants of the webinar included: Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir; Debbie Abrahams MP, Chairperson APPG on Kashmir; Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee of Senate of Pakistan; Senator Sherry Rehman; Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Afzal Khan MP; Anthea McIntyre former MEP, Patron of Conservative Friends of Kashmir in the European Parliament; Yasmin Qureshi MP; Christian Wakeford MP; Khalid Mahmood MP, Shadow Defence Minister; Mike Wood MP; Tracy Brabin MP; Senator Seemi Ezdi; Sehrish Qamer MLA, Chairperson JKSDMI Azad Kashmir; Cllr Yasmine Dar, Member National Executive Committee of the Labour Party; Umbreen Turk; Ubaid Ul Rehman Qureshi, Asif Jarral and Zeshan Arif.