Kashmir Solidarity awareness campaign raised in European Parliament

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Islamabad: Conservative Legal Affairs Spokesman and Chair of the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group, Sajjad Karim MEP, hosted a seminar on Kashmir in the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss what role the EU could play in resolving the current instability in the South Asian region.
According to a message received here on Friday, Mr Karim spoke of Kashmir being left on the sidelines with regards to the EU addressing human rights violations around the world, he said, “At a recent debate in the European Parliament on the issue of Human Rights there was no mention of Kashmir. This is a case of double standards.”
A vast array of topics concerning Kashmiri self determination were covered during the seminar and pertinent questions were asked on the role of NGO’s.
Mr Karim drew attention to the positive contribution made by genuinely independent NGO’s.
“MEPs always come into contact with a lot of NGO’s over a variety of issues, and we know how to recognise a genuine, independent NGO that stems from the grassroots.
The Kashmir Council EU, led by Ali Raza Syed, is one of these genuine NGO’s and they have campaigned tirelessly on protecting the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Only last week the Kashmir Council EU successfully organised a demonstration in The Hague to support Kashmir Solidarity day, and in October 2011 they organised an exhibition which I hosted and featured the attendance of many MEPs such as Martin Callanan MEP, Ivo Vajgal MEP and Richard Ashworth MEP.”
The Kashmir seminar began with an opening speech from the chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Self Determination Movement, Raja Najabat Hussain, who informed the audience of the turbulent history of the region and the means of moving forward.
“There is a lot of draconian laws in Kashmir, such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives Army Officers legal immunity for their actions. This needs to be taken away”.
Mohammed Azam, also part of the Jammu Kashmir Self Determination Movement, called on the general public to raise the issue of Kashmir and lobby their political representatives.
“Mr Karim spoke about the grassroots NGO’s, but what we also need to do is to make sure we raise the profile of Kashmir by getting the ordinary public to contact their MEPs or MPs to make sure the issues in Kashmir are resolved.”
Through the diplomatic channels open to us we stress the need for all the parties to work towards peace in the Region, for the benefit of the people of the Valley as a whole. This Assembly will continue to stand up for the respect of Human Rights, freedom of Governance and access to markets for Kashmir.”
The seminar was organised as part of the Kashmir Solidarity Period to highlight the Kashmir Issue and request the politicians, political parties and institutions who play a special role to resolve international issues like Kashmir.
-APP

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