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Over 50 UK parliamentarians show support for people of Kashmir

LONDON: More than 50 British parliamentarians belonging to the Labour and Conservative parties attended two events to show solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir at the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The events, one after another, were organized separately by Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK and Women Council of Jammu Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International (JKSDMI), and attended by President Azad Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan and Altaf Ahmed Bhat, Senior Kashmiri Hurriyat leader, besides others.

The first event was chaired by Paul Bristow MP, Vice Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir, and hosted by Fahim Kayani, President Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, and the second conference was organized by Raja Najaban Hussain.

The Conservative, Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs who attended the event included Jess Phillips; Debbie Abraham; Jack Dromey; Valerie Vaz; Hilary Benn; Tim Loughton; Lloyd Russell-Moyle; Rachel Maclean; Steve McCabe; Alison Thewliss; Brendan O’Hara; Marco Longhi; Colleen Fletcher; Steve Baker; Andy McDonald; Kate Hollern; Khalid Mehmood; Yasmeen Qureshi; Fabian Hamilton; Afzal Khan; Muhammad Yaseen; Antony Higginbotham; Sara Britcliffe; Jack Brereton; James Daly; Jonathan Gullis; Jo Gideon ; Suzanne Webb; Kate Griffiths; Lilian Greenwood; Jim McMahon; Dame Rosalie Winterton; Tracy Brabin MP; Tony Lloyd; and Lord Qurban Hussain.

The speakers said that Indian occupation forces were committing unabated crimes against humanity in occupied Kashmir which calls for immediate intervention of the international community.

The speakers said that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute and still on the agenda of the UN Security Council but the Indian government is involved in violating international laws and conventions. The speakers recognized that Indian attitude and its belligerent policies have added negative dimensions to grave situation of human rights, risk to the regional security and its bearing on socio-economic condition of the people of the region.

The speakers acknowledged that Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly warned the international community that the Indian adventurism could pose incalculable danger to the regional security and beyond and therefore India must be held accountable.

The Azad Kashmir President said that Indian unilateral and illegal actions on 5th August 2019 have led to a humanitarian crisis in Indian occupied Kashmir due to the siege laid by 900,000 fully armed Indian forces laid on 8 million defenceless and voiceless Kashmiris. He told the audience that Genocide Watch has issued Genocide Alert for Kashmir. Since 5th August, Kashmiris have remained cut off from the outside world leading to civilian deaths due to shortages of food and medicines.

Sardar Masood Khan said India has tried to bury the issue of Kashmir for seven decades but failed miserably as the Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination never ceased despite harrowing brutalities by the occupation forces. He said India has used every instrument of violence and propaganda in its repertoire yet it could not dampen the spirit of the Kashmiri people. The President said today the issue of Kashmir stands internationalized and is being discussed at international forums and world parliaments.

Speaking to the audience, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Nafees Zakaria said that Kashmir issue was a consequence of the violation of the basic principle of the partition plan and manipulation of the demarcation of boundaries. He cited the historical accounts recorded by the British historian Prof. Alastair Lamb, Secretary to the Boundary Commission Sir Christopher Beaumont, Indian Lawyer A G Noorani, and human rights Activist Victoria Schofield.

Faheem Kayani said that India was committing crimes against humanity including mass killings, mass graves, mass rapes, and mass blindings in Indian occupied Kashmir. He said that people would lose faith in the international community and Institutions meant to protect human rights if they don’t intervene.

Raja Najabat Hussain called on the Indian government to immediately uplift the siege of Kashmir. He asked the United Nations and European Union to send fact-finding missions to Kashmir to meet victims of Indian atrocities.

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