LONDON: The High Commission for Pakistan, London hosted a Webinar to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day. It was participated by a large number of cross-party British MPs from both Houses of the Parliament, eminent scholars, academics, members of the civil society and British friends of Kashmir.
In his opening remarks, High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan apprised the audience of the unabated atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces in J&K. He said that nearly a million armed forces were violating the fundamental rights of innocent and unarmed Kashmiris at a scale unparalleled in modern times.
He said that J&K is today the locus of the heaviest concentration of armed occupation force anywhere in the world, as the BJP’s long-term project of altering Kashmiri’s demographic make-up continues nonstop. He called upon the UK government to play its due role in bringing the humanitarian crisis and the political dispute to a peaceful and just conclusion, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
Expressing complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people, the British Parliamentarians and other speakers strongly condemned the gross human rights violations of the Kashmiri people being committed by Indian occupation forces. They demanded that India should immediately repeal draconian laws, end the military siege, stop demographic changes in the occupied region, lift communication blockade and release all political prisoners in J&K. They also said that it was about time that the international community called out the BJP governments’ discriminatory laws against Muslims and other minorities in India, and also in J&K.
Terming it an international issue, the speakers unanimously refuted Indian narrative of Kashmir being an internal matter and pledged to continue to raise their voice for the basic human rights of the Kashmiris. Drawing parallels between the issue of Falkland Islands/Gibraltar and Jammu & Kashmir, the Parliamentarians urged the British government to apply the principle of inalienable right to self-determination universally on all peoples. It was also stressed that an impending genocide is underway in the valley by Indian occupation forces, and that urgent international intervention is warranted to call Modi-led Indian government to account.
The speakers included Debbie Abrahams MP, Chair All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir; Paul Bristow MP, Co-Chair Conservative Friends of Kashmir; Afzal Khan MP; Steve Baker MP; Imran Hussain MP; Tony Lloyd MP; James Daly MP; Khalid Mehmood MP; Naz Shah MP; Yasmin Qureshi MP; Lord Qurban Hussain; Lord Wajid Khan; Muhammad Yasin MP; Anthea McIntyre ex-MEP; Cllr Yasmin Dar; Raja Najabat Hussain; Prof. Dr. Victoria Schofield; Dr Nazir Gilani; Dr. Khurshid Ahmed; Muzammil Thakur and Cllr Muhammad Sadiq.
At the end, the High Commissioner thanked the speakers and participants of the webinar for their expression of solidarity with the Kashmiris. He hoped that the Webinar would help raise awareness about the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in J&K.