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Sunday November 28, 2021

Need to change the way we lobby for Kashmir, says Pervaiz Losar

September 06, 2021

Islamabad: He is bullied by Indian media, abused, and alleged on social media and even faces death threats, but nothing stops him from speaking for the voiceless Kashmiris facing atrocities at the hands of the Indian Army in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

He is Pervaiz Iqbal Losar, lauded by the current and previous Presidents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) alike for his selfless and consistent fight to create global level awareness on human rights violations in the IOJ&K, particularly on the floor of the European Parliament as part of his role as Chairman European Union Pak Friendship Federation.

EU Pak Friendship Federation is a non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and is aimed at strengthening relationship between Pakistan and the European countries. Established in 2005, the Federation is registered in 28 European countries and has operational chapters in 16 of them.

The Federation through its meetings, seminars, rallies and conferences has played an active role in confidence-building between Pakistan and European nations besides promoting and protecting Pakistan’s stance on various issues. As a result of some recent meetings, the Federation convinced 16 Member European Parliament (MEPs) to write a letter to the European Parliament on human rights violations in IOJ&K. Losar was also active in securing an extension of the GSP Plus status to Pakistan and simultaneously organized Kashmir rallies in front of Indian embassies in 14 European countries, with protesters reiterating India as a terrorist nation.

Such initiatives made Pervaiz Iqbal Losar a natural target of the Indian lobby’s abuse and threats on social media. “There have been all kinds of attacks against me, with the Indian lobby even going as far as organising a protest against me in Islamabad, but nothing could deter me from speaking the truth aloud and keep exposing the Indian conspiracies,” said Losar in an interview with ‘The News’.

He further told this scribe that the Islamabad protest was heavily pushed on social media by a foreign-based Pakistani journalist who used abusive language and levelled baseless allegations against him. “It goes to show the roots of the strength of Indian lobby in Pakistan.” He vows to take this matter to court against the journalist in Europe, “where journalists are answerable for what they say.”

Talking about the future of GSP plus status for Pakistan, he expressed concern over the situation after a recent resolution passed against Pakistan. “Last time when a resolution got passed against Pakistan over minority issues, which was moved by a Swedish MEP who is part of the Indian lobby, three MEPs wrote a letter to the European Parliament against Pakistan and its Institutions. In response, we held meetings with MEPs and 15 letters were written in the favour of Pakistan.” Losar stressed extensive efforts to defend Pakistan’s case this time as well.

About FATF, he said no country could fulfill the 27 conventions but Pakistan has fulfilled 26 of them. “Yet, it is a matter of concern that we are still on the list, despite the EU Disinformation Lab report that proves the Indian designs against Pakistan.” He also stressed the need to focus on the OIC countries and their policies towards India.

Sharing details of his meeting with Barrister Sultan Mahmood, President AJK, Losar said he briefed the President about the forum’s various activities in highlighting the Kashmir Issue among the European community. “We agreed on the need to change the way we lobby for Kashmir. Currently, the envoys sent by the Pakistani government interact only with the Pakistani community, who are already aware of the issue. We need to approach universities, think tanks, Parliament members, and even members of the district governments in other countries,” he said and suggested establishing special desks in all foreign missions, embassies, and consulates of Pakistan to expose the malicious designs of RSS and Narendra Modi.

Losar praised the efforts of former President AJK Masood Khan for taking forward the Kashmir cause in the right direction with the international community and expressed hope for the new president to take the cause further ahead under his leadership, adding that efforts in this regards should not be restricted to a few dedicated days.

He said on the Indian side, around one million Indian army personnel are keeping 13.5 million Kashmiris under lockdown for the last two years while in Pakistan, we are hosting Kashmir Premier League with the participation of international players despite all efforts by the Indian Cricket Board to disrupt the event. “We need to show this very difference to the world and expose the cowardly Indian conspiracies.”

On the role of the Pakistani community in promoting the Kashmir cause, Losar said the community plays an active role yet it’s divided by politics. “There are currently three to four offices of each political party in every European country. This division on the basis of politics is unfortunate. We need to get united to make a difference,” he said.

He suggested representation for overseas Pakistanis as parliamentary candidates for them to be able to contribute towards solving their community’s issues. “Only having voting rights will create further division among the Pakistani community abroad with embarrassing scenes of petty fights among our community abroad.”

Losar was of the view that those willing to bring business to Pakistan should be treated as only overseas Pakistanis instead of a political party affiliate. About the major issues faced by the overseas Pakistani community, he said that facilitation in the resolution of their property issues and security of their families, especially from the kidnapping of their children in Pakistan, are the most important issues right now. “Our problems shall be resolved by our embassies, not our political connections.” He stressed Pakistani embassies for better facilitation and engagement with Pakistani students in Europe, who he termed as ambassadors of Pakistan.