Monday June 17, 2024

EU MPs letter on Kashmir situation welcomed

August 01, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday welcomed a letter written by members of the European Parliament addressed to the president and vice president of the European Commission where they expressed concern over the human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in response to media queries said the letter was “another demonstration of the continuing global censure of the ongoing human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.

The Foreign Office spokesperson said despite India continuously peddling false propaganda in futile attempts to push the sham narrative of so-called normalcy in IIOJK, the global censure and condemnation of the Indian atrocities in IIOJK continued.

He said India must realise that it cannot ignore the international community’s continuing calls to end its grave and systematic human rights violations of the Kashmiri people.

The spokesperson said India would have to ultimately give in to global conscience, end its unabated human rights violations in parts of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation and take steps for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.

On Friday, 16 members of the European Parliament expressing concerns over the alarming human rights situation in IIOJK urged the European Union to raise its voice against the unchecked abuse.

“As a champion of universal human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule-based international order, the EU must raise its voice against the violations of human rights affecting the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” they said in a letter sent to European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell.

The lawmakers who wrote the letter were Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Dino Giarrusso, Javier Nart, Chiara Maria Gemma, Salima Yenbou, Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comin, Clara Ponsati Obiols, Brando Benifei, Massimiliano Smeriglio, Manuela Ripa, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Rosa D’amato, Andrea Cozzolino, Doménec Ruiz Devesa, and Helmut Scholz. The miseries of the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been amply documented in the International Human Rights Watch World Report 2021 as well as the reports of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018 and 2019, they pointed out.

The members of the European Parliament also mentioned “a debilitating lockdown” suffered by IIOJK since the revocation of its special status in 2019, and the restraints on the rights to movement, access to information, health care, education as well as free speech, intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They said the EU should use all its leverage and tools to get honoured the pledge made to the Kashmiris by the international community and create an environment conducive to the implementation of the United Nations resolutions.

“It is extremely important that the voices of Kashmiri people are heard, their aspirations are responded to and they are granted the opportunity to decide their own future,” they added.

Meanwhile, Indian troops killed two more Kashmiri youths in Pulwama on Saturday. The youths were killed by the troops during a cordon and search operation at the Nagberan-Tarsar forest area of the district, the Kashmir Media Service reported.