LONDON: The Pakistan High Commission, London organized a Parliamentary Webinar in connection with “Kashmir Black Day” on Tuesday (October 27). Every year on 27th October, the Kashmiris on both sides of Line of Control and across the globe observe “Black Day”. According to a High Commission’s press release, on this day in 1947, India forcibly occupied Jammu & Kashmir by landing its forces in Srinagar against the will of the Kashmiri people, and in total disregard to the Partition Plan.
High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan presided over the Webinar. It was addressed by President AJ&K Sardar Masood Khan, a number of cross-party British Parliamentarians including Debbie Abrahams MP, Chairperson APPG on Kashmir, Paul Bristow MP, Chairperson Conservative Friends of Kashmir (CFoK), Steve Baker MP, Lord Qurban Huassain, Imran Hussain MP, Mohammad Yasin MP, Andrew Gwynne MP, Alex Sobel MP, Rachel Hopkins MP, Richard Burgon MP, Tracy Brabin MP, Afzal Khan MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, Naz Shah MP, John Howarth ex-MEP, Anthea McIntyre ex-MEP, Wajid Khan ex-MEP, and Richard Corbett ex-MEP. Kashmiri leaders, academia, legal fraternity, human rights activists and British friends of Kashmir also participated in the event.
Speaking on the occasion, President AJK, Sardar Masood Khan said genocide is taking place in IIOJK as the entire nation is under military siege since 5 August 2019. He said while the response from international civil society and media on Kashmir is strong, the powerful governments are not playing an effective role due to their strategic alignments with India. The President emphasized on a worldwide civil rights movement to internationalise the Kashmir issue; to impose economic sanctions against India; and to activate international diplomacy on Kashmir.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner said Kashmiris in J&K have been living under an unending state of Indian oppression and denial of basic human rights for more than seven decades. He said seventy thousand Kashmiris, including men, women and children have been martyred, hundreds of women raped and molested, tens of thousands have passed through chambers of incarceration, and several hundred have been blinded.
The British Parliamentarians recognized that Kashmir has become a “cross party” issue in the UK, after the launch of “Conservative Friends of Kashmir” (CFoK) recently. Expressing deep concerns over worsening humanitarian crisis in IIOJK, the speakers condemned the continuous military siege since 05 August 2019 and ongoing human rights violations committed by the Indian occupation forces with impunity.
The speakers emphasized on the legal accountability of crimes in IIOJK in light of the evidence documented by credible international organizations. Some of the participants cautioned the international community of an impending genocide of the Kashmiris. Terming it an international issue, the speakers refuted Indian narrative of Kashmir being an internal matter.
Summing up the Webinar, the High Commissioner thanked the speakers and attendees for their participation. He hoped that the Webinar would help raise awareness about the Kashmir conflict and the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in J&K.