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International Conference on Jammu and Kashmir held at British Parliament

London, February 05, 2019 (PPI-OT): An International Conference on Jammu and Kashmir was held at the British Parliament on 04th February 2019. Mr. Rehman Chishti MP and Chairperson All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pakistan, hosted the Conference. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is currently in London for the Kashmir Solidarity Day, attended the Conference as the keynote speaker, says a press release received here today from London. Other guest speakers included Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Ms. Debbie Abrahams MP and Chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG), Former Prime Minister of Norway, Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik and Former Australian Senator Ms. Lee Rhiannon.

The event was also attended by members of Cross-party Foreign Relations Committee from the Senate of Pakistan, British Parliamentarians, Mayors, and Councillors, Kashmiri leaders, academics, participants from civil society organizations, media representatives, students, prominent members of the British Pakistani community, and the High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK. Foreign Minister Qureshi condemned the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK) and urged for an immediate cessation of atrocities.

He called upon the international community, particularly the UK Government, in its capacity as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, where Jammu and Kashmir remains on the agenda, to play its role for ameliorating the sufferings of innocent civilians, especially women and children, which continue to this day and to bring to an end this longstanding international dispute, in accordance with the UNSC Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed the Government of Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support for the oppressed people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee shed light on the importance of resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that remains unresolved for decades. They spoke about the legality of the dispute, while former Norwegian Premier, Mr. Bondevik, former Australian Senator Ms. Rhiannon and APPKG Chair Debbie Abrahams discussed the way forward, in the light of the reports and resolutions by OHCHR, APPKG and OIC-IPHRC. Prof. Dr. Raihanah Binti Abdullah, OIC-IPHRC Vice Chairperson emphasised that the unabated gross human rights violations faced by the innocent Kashmiri Muslims make it one of the worst and prolonged human rights situations around the world.

She called upon the international community to take concrete and practical measures to that end and prevail upon the Government of India to allow the visit of the Commission of Inquiry under UN auspices, to hold an independent investigation into all human rights violations, including killings, rape and unmarked mass graves, in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In his remarks, President AJK, Sardar Masood Khan stressed the need to address the catastrophic situation that grips the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He called on the global powers to take notice of the fast-changing dynamics of the region and rapidly deteriorating situation in the IOK. President Khan demanded an immediate resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions. Keeping in view the excesses being committed in IOK, a Resolution was tabled to condemn human rights violations and loss of innocent lives through the use of pellet guns and disproportionate use of power. The Resolution was adopted unanimously.

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