Monday November 29, 2021

Australian MPs ask India to let Kashmiris decide

October 27, 2021
Australian MPs ask India to let Kashmiris decide

LAHORE: Australian parliamentarians have called on India to let Kashmiris decide as right to self-determination is an inalienable right of Kashmiris as enshrined in the UN charter.

The voice was raised in a seminar organized by Pakistan Consulate General in Sydney Australia to observe the 27th October Kashmir Black Day. According to the communiqué, the event chaired by the Consul General of Pakistan Muhammad Ashraf was attended by members of New South Wales Parliament, Australian Federal Parliament and Senators representing different political parties, besides a large number of Australians especially the members of Australian– Pakistani, Australian–Arab, Australian – Turkish and Sikh communities.

The speakers at the seminar highlighted the illegality of the Indian occupation of Kashmir and the catastrophic human rights situation in Indian occupied Kashmir. President Kashmir Council Australia, Dr. Ali Sarfaraz briefed the audience on the current deteriorating situation of human rights in Kashmir at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

The Consul General, Muhammad Ashraf briefed the audience on the background of the issue and stated that Kashmiris across the globe observe 27th October as the Black Day every year to commemorate the illegal annexation of Jammu and Kashmir by India on 27th October 1947.

He highlighted the plight of Kashmiri people under curfew, lockdown, and communication blockade. He called upon the international community to play its role in ensuring the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.

Representative of the Sikh community and the renowned Human Rights Activist Mr. Gursharan Singh emphasized that right to self-determination was an inalienable right of Kashmiris as enshrined in the UN charter. He emphasized that Muhammed Ali Jinnah was right in forecasting what India would look like after 1947.

General Secretary Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims (IFAM) Mr. Usaid Khalil expressed his solidarity with the imprisoned people of Kashmir. He underscored that other global issues like Palestine always get the limelight and somehow the issue of Kashmir has been put on back burner. He proposed to form a forum of Australians for Kashmiris so that the issue gets highlighted in Australia.

Chief Executive of Australian Federation of Islamic Council (AFIC) Mr. Keysar Trad stated that Gaza and Kashmir had been called as open-air prisons, but the situation was even worse than prisons as the prison wardens are now allowed to kill the prisoners as Indian army is doing in Kashmir. He praised the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan among other Muslims leaders for taking up courageous stand to condemn the Indian atrocities.

The former Senator from Australian Green Party Ms. Lee Rhiannon spoke at length against the human rights abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir. She emphasised that the Australian government should take up the issue of human rights with the Indian government and condemned both Prime Minister Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah for perpetrating crimes against humanity in Kashmir.

She stressed that lessons from apartheid in South Africa can be a way forward for highlighting the Kashmir issues on a global scale. She also proposed to form ‘Let Kashmir Decide’ solidarity movement and informed that she has the draft mandate already in place, which she can share with relevant Kashmiri groups.

Member of New South Wales Legislative Council Mr. Paul Lynch regretted the conduct of the Indian government on the human rights abuses in Kashmir and he stressed that human rights are global, and the governments must condemn the human rights violations indiscriminately, regardless of their political and economic interests.

Member of New South Wales Legislative Council Mr. David Shoebridge condemned the appalling intensification of violence since August 2019 in Kashmir and the subsequent communication blockade by the right-wing Indian government. He condemned the governments in West who are not supporting the just cause of Kashmiri people. He also condemned the human rights abuses and regretted the conduct of the Indian government with the Amnesty International after the Amnesty International published reports highlighting the human rights situation in Kashmir. The Amnesty International had to shut down its operations under duress by the Indian government.

In his concluding remarks Muhammad Ashraf reiterated the illegitimacy of Indian occupation of Kashmir as underlined by independent researchers, historians and observers. He stressed that all panelists have agreed to raise the issue of Kashmir globally as human rights are of paramount importance.