BRADFORD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry has said that the Kashmiri diaspora community settled in the United Kingdom had played a vital role in highlighting the Kashmir issue at international level.
Addressing a function in Bradford and Halifax, the AJK president recalled his early memories of Bradford. “I’m delighted to be a part of this august gathering along with British members of parliament and lord mayors,” according to a press release issued here on Tuesday.
“Bradford is a place where a large number of Kashmiris live”, he said, adding two Kashmiri MPs Naz Shah and Imran Hussain had been elected from there and “I also have a degree from Bradford University.”
The AJK president said the sole purpose of his visit was to apprise the international community of the dire situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and unjust sentencing of JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik.
He said the Kashmir issue had now entered a critical juncture following India’s unilateral abrogation of Article 370. The people of occupied Kashmir were currently going through a difficult situation.
Regarding the conviction and life imprisonment of Yasin Malik, he said it was high time that the issue should be raised at every international forum to expose how the Indian government was using its judiciary as a tool to silence legitimate and genuine political voices in the occupied territory.
Given the worsening situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir, he said it was “our shared responsibility to raise the issue at global level”.
Yasin Malik issue
Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry urged the Federal Government to raise the denial of right to fair trial to Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik and his unjust sentencing of life imprisonment by an Indian court at International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other relevant forums.
“History will not forgive us if we fail to make any tangible efforts in this regard”, he urged adding Owing to some limitations, Barrister Sultan said, the AJK government could file an appeal in the ICJ. “There are certain limitations for us as a state to approach the ICJ as it can only be accessed by a member state, therefore, I urge the Federal Government to file an appeal against Malik’s unjust sentencing in the International Court of Justice immediately.”
He said besides the ICJ, it was high time to raise the issue more vigorously at the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and other relevant bodies, as maintaining silence would cause an irreparable damage to the ongoing freedom movement in Kashmir.
Referring to his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brussels, Barrister Sultan said he would raise the issue of Malik’s unjust sentencing at every forum. He would also seek legal advice from senior barristers in the UK, he added.
Hosts of the event in Bradford, Councillor Kamran Hussain, former lord mayors Ghazanfar Khaliq and Aurangzeb, Councillor Haq Nawaz, Councillor Gohar Almas, former Advisor Chaudhry Haq Nawaz, former Councillor Chaudhry Altaf and others also addressed the function.