Brussels, June 12, 2019 (PPI-OT): Speakers at a welcome get together while opposing the Indian government’s de-limitation plan have said that the move is aimed at abrogating Kashmir specific Articles 370 and 35-A to change the demographic composition of occupied Kashmir.
The event was organized by MEP Professor Klaus Buchner in Brussels in honour of the newly elected parliamentarians in the European Parliament in collaboration with the Organization of Kashmir Coalition (OKC). A number of other MEPs including Anna Michelle Assimakopoulou, Chris Davies, Bernhard Zimniok, Phil Bennion, MEPs advisors and assistants, parliamentary officials, policy advisors, Kashmiri representatives, heads of non-governmental organizations and journalists attended the function.
In his opening remarks, MEP Buchner highlighted the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe generally and in Jammu and Kashmir (JandK) particularly. He declared that in his capacity as MEP, he would work with all the stakeholders and the EP concerned committees to bring about peace and tranquillity in JandK. He upheld that in any settlement negotiations, the genuine Kashmiri leadership must be engaged and the Kashmiris’ aspirations about their political future are paramount.
Frank Schwalba-Hoth (former MEP and co-founder of German Greens), who moderated the event, laid emphasis upon keeping the European Parliament on the Kashmir issue consistently engaged as had been done in the past under the direction of Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo. He expressed his delight to see that OKC is to resume that engagement with the European Union and in particular with the European Parliament. MEP Chris Davies, having been re-elected after five years gap, recalled the parliamentary work that was undertaken then including that of All Parliamentarians Group on Kashmir – European Parliament (APGK) engaging with all the principal stakeholders. He hoped, together with other colleagues, an effective strategy on Kashmir is evolved ensuring that human suffering is reduced there and a peaceful resolution is forged.
Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl catalogued the gross human rights violations suffered by the people of Kashmir since the Modi government from 2014 under the Dovel doctrine. He reminded the audience that the Kashmir conflict was an internationally recognised conflict awaiting the Kashmiris right to self-determination. In his conclusion, Prof Shawl recommended that “peace” is the way forward bearing in mind that the region is a nuclear flashpoint.
MEP Phil Bennion believes that it is crucial to move away from rhetoric positions on the Kashmir conflict and to concentrate on the “Practical Solution” that may generate the European Union’s support. He commits himself to the Kashmiris human rights and their right to self-determination.
In his concluding remarks, Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo urged the urgent attention and cooperation of MEPs to bring the Kashmiris’ gross sufferings and their political dispensation, once again, to forefront of the EPs agenda.
The high point of Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo’s intervention was a reference to the Modi government’s enforcing his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party’s election pledge to abrogate Articles 35A and 370 of the Indian Constitution which extend special status to JandK and prohibit non-state subjects to buy land or take-up employment there. Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo hoped that the newly constituted All Parliamentarians Group on Kashmir – European Parliament (APGK) shall closely work with the Organisation of Kashmir Coalition (OKC), the Vision and Mission of which serves as an umbrella coalition organisation to facilitate and coordinate all the work and the efforts of civil society and human rights organisations and inter-governmental organisations to gain access to International Law and its enforcement mechanism to implementing the United Nations resolutions on the Kashmir conflict. He added that OKC was committed to promoting and projecting Kashmiris’ human rights and their right to self-determination.
Barrister Tramboo and Prof Shawl, for and on behalf of OKC, recommended to deplore the proposed de-limitation process being put in motion by the government of India (this is the process through which the number of seats of the Jammu and Ladakh region are to be brought at par with the Kashmir valley number of seats in the so-called State Legislative Assembly to begin the process of the abrogation of the above articles) as a stepping stone for the demographic change in JandK. The recommendation was agreed unanimously.
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