British MPs, HR lawyers raise voice for Kashmir solution

More than 20 British MPs, Human rights lawyers from Kuwait and Bahrain raised their voice against grave human rights violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) and called for a peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of Kashmiris.

British MPs assured President State Azad Jammu Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan to raise the Kashmir issue in the British Parliament and support Kashmir’s right to self-determination, in the International Kashmir Virtual Conference chaired by Fahim Kayani President, Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK.

The confab was attended by President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, British MPs and Councillors including Rebecca Long Baily, MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Chris Stephens, MP, Mike Wood, MP, Afzal Khan, MP and Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Tracy Barbin, MP, Kate Green, MP and Shadow Minister Work and Pensions, Paul Bristow, MP and Shadow Minister Defense Khalid Mahmood, MP, Yasmin Qureshi, MP, former Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, MP, Mohammad Yasin, MP, Lilian GreenWood, MP, Sarah Owen, MP, Rachel Hopkins, MP, Lawyer and Director of the centre for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Mejbel ALshrika, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement, Altaf Ahmed Butt, Mayor of Chesham, Qaser Chaudhry, former member of Bahrian Parliament, Jamal Buhasan, lawyer and Member of the Human Rights Committee of Kuwait Bar Association, Dalal Al Ajmi, Chief Spokesperson of JKLF Muhammad Rafiq Dar, Conference Chair & President of Tehreek-e-Kashmir Fahim Kayani, Spokesperson, World Sikh Parliament, Ranjit Singh Srai, Shaukat Dar, President, Pakistan Press Club, UK, Bailie, Muhammad Hanif Raja, President, Tehreek-e-Kashmir Scotl, Ghazanfar Khan, Vice Chair Conservative Friends of Kashmir, while Jack Dormey, MP, Jim McMohan, MP and Tanmanjeet Singh Deshi, MP, sent their statements. And Cllr Tafheem Sharif moderated the Conference.

Chief guest, president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan thanked the participants who attended the conference from UK, Bahrain, Kuwait, IOK and Islamabad.

He also appreciated TeK President, Fahim Kayani’s efforts for organising virtual gathering amid the COVID-19 outbreak for Kashmir cause. President of AJK Sardar Masood Khan added that BJP-led Indian govt’s warmongering would jeopardise the peace and stability of whole South Asia, while Indian forces are continuously violating ceasefire across the Line of Control, at the same time are using innocent Kashmiris as human shields. Moreover, he said, India is threatening Pakistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan at the same time.

“While in occupied Kashmir India is committing four major crimes: Genocide of Kashmiris, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, religious / racial discrimination and forced demographics changes in violation of Geneva Convention and the United Nations resolutions and international humanitarian law, ”President Masood added.

He further said India is now following the settlement designs of Israel, and with the introduction of new domicile law Modi government wants to settle non-Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir, which is again a violation of the International Law and resolutions.

President Masood said, “We must now invest in multilateral diplomacy, while media needs to play its decisive role, and think-tanks and academics to provide credible and acceptable research to create awareness at the global level.

He said that India, taking advantage of COVID-19, was applying vicious plans while colonising IOK through the introduction of new domicile law and giving domicile status to non-Kashmiris. These punitive measures have filled Kashmiris with anger, and when this anger explodes, there will be a catastrophe of humanity, he added.

Shadow Secretary of State for Education Rebecca Long Baily, MP, during her address, said Indian Land grab and new domicile rule to change the demography of the region is heinous while Kashmiris are under lockdown within a lockdown human. The grave human rights violations rape & molestation of women are horrific crimes being reported in Kashmir. She asserted that the UK had to play a vital role via Diplomacy for a peaceful solution to Kashmir dispute as per UN resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiris.

Chris Stephens, MP, said, “I would like to appreciate and thank the TeK team for the great event and to invite me. We have Kashmiri diaspora in Glasgow, and people of Glasgow show solidarity and support for Kashmiris right to self-determination as per UN resolutions.

Lilian Greenwood, MP, during her address thanked the AJK President, Sardar Masood Khan for showing solidarity with UK and said that hearing from President himself was helpful, as Kashmir’s situation worsened under the twin lockdown.

Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, Kate Green, MP, while showing deep concern over double lockdown in occupied Kashmir said that as told by the AJK President, human rights violations in Kashmir were a real concern for humanity and ‘we will play our role in facilitating and bringing about peace and stability in Kashmir.’

Paul Bristow, MP, said that the Kashmir dispute was alive and there were cross-party debates in the Parliament. “The Kashmiri diaspora in the UK are concerned about the well-being of their family and friends in Kashmir, their voices are heard through their MPs, and we support the right to self-determination of Kashmiris as per their aspirations. Kashmir is not a bilateral issue and I will continue support for Kashmir’s cause and make sure the voice of Kashmiris is heard,” he added.

During his address, Mike Wood, MP, said that under the twin lockdown, the continuous persecution of Muslims was going on in Kashmir. “After the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A by the Indian government, the lockdown has added to the miseries of Kashmiri Muslims, including human rights abuses. I believe the world has much to do so that the Muslims in Kashmir shall live in peace, safety, and security as per their aspirations, he maintained.

Shadow Minister for Digital, Culture, and Media and Support, Tracy Barbin, MP, thanked for inviting and appreciated the recent updates from the AJK President Sardar Masood Khan as it is difficult to get hands-on information during the twin lockdown and communication blockade in Kashmir.

She further said that the lockdowns caused billions of dollars’ loss to the Kashmir’s economy, and the international community must find a way out for Kashmir dispute as per the UN resolutions and wishes of Kashmiri people.

Muhammad Yasin, MP, said that ever since Modi government repealed Article 370 and 35A, Kashmiris had been cut off from the digital world, communication blockade, educational institutes closed, loss to the economy, and businesses.

He said that the Kashmir was an issue of self-determination and realisation of the disputed territory. International community now realises that IOK will be a dangerous region if the issue is not resolved immediately, he added.

Sarah Owen, MP, said there is cross-party support for Kashmir, while the main issue is lack of information on current situations because of the twin lockdown and communication blockade. “We will not turn away from our obligation for human rights and justice for Kashmiris,” she added.

Shadow Minister for International development, Yasmin Qureshi, MP, took severe note of human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir and said that illegal domicile law was introduced to change the demographics of the territory, which is a violation of International Law.

She said, the right to self-determination is the basic human right of Kashmiris and the international community needs to come forward to save Kashmiris. “We must work together to make sure the grave human rights abuses in Kashmir are recognised, and practical steps are taken on an immediate basis to end the atrocities and persecutions of Kashmiris,” she added.

Rachel Hopkin, MP, said, “We have cross-party support on Kashmir issue, we need special envoy/third party for talks. Kashmiri diaspora living in the UK, Europe, and all over the world must raise these issues so that the general masses will get awareness about what’s going on in Kashmir.”

Shadow Minister for Defense, Khalid Mahmood, MP, said that Kashmir dispute was alive and vibrant internationally; because of the COVID-19, the pace was slow, but we have debate on the ongoing grave human rights violations, and horrendous crimes in occupied Kashmir. “The demographic changes being carried out by the BJP-led government of India are violations of International Law and Geneva Convention. There are authentic reports of Rape, Molestations, Mass graves in different villages of Kashmir. It is high time. We must stand up for the Rights of Kashmiris as per their aspirations,” he added.

The Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement, Altaf Ahmed Butt appreciated Fahim Kayani and his team for organising the moot. He added that under the twin lockdown since 5th August, last year, brutal Indian forces and so-called administration started mass killings in fake encounters, abductions, destruction of properties and forced demographic changes against the innocent, defenceless besieged Kashmiris. Because of Narendra Modi’s cruel and unilateral decisions, Kashmiri youth are being forced to carry guns. If Modi’s punitive and cruel measures are not stopped, there will be a human bloodbath in IOK.

He said that Indian military and agencies were deliberately turning the indigenous freedom movement into violence to divert global attention which we received from the international community after the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A. He asserted that only in the last two months, 45 educated youth had been killed and 100 houses had been destroyed in IOK by the Indian troops during the cordon and search operations.

Altaf Ahmed Butt also appealed for urgent intervention of the UN / P5 to stop Modi from inhumane torture of Kashmiris and start the process of the plebiscite as promised by the United Nations. He also appealed the international humanitarian organisations and NGOs to help besieged Kashmiris.

The Chief Cpokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Rafiq Dar said that after repealing Kashmir’s special status, the BJP-led Indian government imposed world’s longest lockdown in occupied Kashmir while thousands political leaders and youth were imprisoned under draconian laws.

Paulo Morais, former Presidential Candidate of Portugal, said, “We could not ignore the grave human rights situations in Kashmir and it is right time the resolutions of the United Nations must be updated on Kashmir.

Jamal Buhasan, former Member of Bahrain Parliament, said, “We have a clear message to the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council: They should resolve the Kashmir dispute immediately as per the aspirations of Kashmiris and UN resolutions as Kashmir are facing a multitude of problems under the double Lockdown.

He urged the Indian government to take care of Muslims in occupied Kashmir, as we care and feel the pain of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters. He assured that Kashmir dispute would be discussed and given priority at the GCC level.

Mejbel Alshrika, lawyer and Director of the Center for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, thanked Fahim Kayani and his team for organising Kashmir Conference.

He said that the RSS-backed BJP-led government of India was committing horrendous crimes against Muslims in India and occupied Kashmir. “We are watching everything, and we are taking note of it, I want to make sure that Muslims in India and Kashmir are not forgotten, we are living in a civilizational age, and Indian War crimes, and gross human rights violations will be a disaster for its fascist leaders, he maintained.

Dalal Al Ajmi, lawyer and Member of the Human Rights Committee of Kuwait Bar Association, said that rape, assault and murder was the policy of RSS-backed BJP-led government. “Since assuming power Modi has stressed the implementation of his plan to eliminate minorities by explicitly attacking Muslims, assaulting and raping women in India and occupied Kashmir. While 9 million Kashmiris are suffering under punitive lockdown, education, health, business, everything is closed and disturbed; the people are living in misery,” she added.

She said, “We are going to put sanctions against Indian companies, and we want to make sure to our Indian and Kashmiri Muslim Brothers and sisters that we are with them.”

Former Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn said that there were large groups of MPs, councillors and many in our constituencies in the UK who were concerned for the safety and security of their family and friends in Kashmir. “They have reported us the events happening in Kashmir with clarity. Kashmiris have been suffering under the twin lockdown, and there is a dire need for better relations between Pakistan and India, no doubt improved relations and dialogue is essential for a peaceful solution to Kashmir dispute,” he maintained.

Mayor of Chesham, Qaser Chaudhry appreciated TeK President, Fahim Kayani and the AJK President on IOK updates. He highlighted because of only 3 months’ lockdown in UK and the world now; the world should understand how it is like to be under lockdown for ten months straight. Kashmiris want their birthright, and right to self-determination as per the resolutions of United the Nations.

Afzal Khan MP, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, said that Kashmir was facing twin lockdown, there is a humanitarian crisis in Kashmir. While human rights violations and forced demographic changes are in violations of International Law and UN resolutions, Kashmiris are being denied fundamental human rights, he added.

He said for peace and stability of the region and South Asia, a peaceful solution to Kashmir dispute as per the aspirations of Kashmiris is essential.

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