Business News

Current Business News. Read More

Company News

Corporate Company News. Read more

Official News

Government Official News. Read more

Press Releases

All Press Releases. Read More

Home » General, Official News

Kashmir seminar held at British House of Lords

January 24, 2020

London, January 24, 2020 (PPI-OT): Speakers at a seminar held in the UK Parliament have expressed concern over the prevailing humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir. As the India-imposed siege of occupied Kashmir crossed 170 days, the seminar was held in the House of Lords in London to discuss the human rights violation being perpetrated by Indian troops in the territory. Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, hosted the seminar.


Baroness Helena Kennedy QC opened the floor with her introductory remarks for deliberations by the guest speakers who were invited to share their thoughts. Parliamentary Secretary, Law and Justice, Barrister Maleeka Bukhari, British Parliamentarians, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Lord Qurban Hussain, Steve Baker, Mark Eastwood and Imran Hussain and Schona Jolly shared QC their concerns over the prevailing humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir.


Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, Nafees Zakaria, took the floor to brief the audience on the Kashmir dispute, the human rights violations and atrocities being committed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir for the last over seven decades, the security threat to the regional peace and stability that the dispute of Kashmir poses and the situation at the Line of Control (LoC).


The High Commissioner said Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute with unimplemented UN Security Council resolutions on it. He invited the attention of the international community towards the plight of the people living under crippling restrictions and military siege in occupied Kashmir since August 5, 2019. He said blackout of media, internet and other means of communications by the Indian government is making it impossible for the outside world to know the extent of loss of human lives due to shortages of food and medicines.


Nafees Zakaria asked the audience to read the documented accounts of human rights abuses by the organisations of international repute and international NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK), Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), etc. He quoted “Muslim Women’s Forum” report saying that around 13,000 Kashmiri youth have been arrested since 5th August 2019 and their welfare and whereabouts were unknown. Similarly, he cited IPTK Report entitled, “Buried Evidence” on unnamed and unmarked mass graves.


The High Commissioner also apprised the audience about continuous ceasefire violations by Indian forces resulting in the killing and injuring of civilians in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and risks to the regional security and beyond posd by the unresolved Kashmir dispute. He drew attention of the audience towards systematic demographic change that India was bringing to occupied Kashmir. He highlighted that in addition to perpetual genocide, mass killings and enforced expulsions, India has taken a number of measures to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory and the international community should take notice of it.


Barrister Maleeka Bukhari said that systematic abuse of human rights of the Kashmiris for the last over seven decades was not an internal matter of India but it was in contravention of the international law as well as Indian Constitution. She termed Kashmir to be the largest open air prison on the earth. Maleeka said that the Indian occupational forces were committing the worst sexual violence in occupied Kashmir. She stressed the need of sending independent observers to the occupied territory. She called upon the UK Government to take a stand on the basis of principles and urge India to stop human rights abuses in Kashmir.


Condemning the Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir, the speakers said that human rights abuses were not an internal issue; rather it was an international issue, and therefore, the UN and international community must play their role to end the ongoing humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir. They also underlined the need to send a fact finding mission to the territory.


Speaking about documented accounts of mass blindings by the use of pellet guns as wells as mass rapes, mass graves and other manifestations of the collective punishment of the Kashmiris, the speakers said that Indian actions in occupied Kashmir reminded the strategy of Second World War.


They maintained that being a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), India cannot do arbitrary detentions. They said it is deplorable that due to the ongoing siege, the courts are not working and cases of habeas corpus cannot be pursued which adds to sufferings of the detainees and their families. It was pointed out that on international level, the UN has issued strong statements to show concern on impunity enjoyed by Indian occupational forces. It was noted that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had asked India for unconditional access to Kashmir and an inquiry into human rights abuses which India is still denying. On domestic level, although the lawyers took the case of Kashmir to the Supreme Court of India, yet the apex court slowed down the case and the judgement on internet shut down was deeply disturbing, it was expressed.


Most of the speakers said British Parliament needs to widen the agenda and discuss Kashmir as what is happening there is totally intolerable. They said religious nationalism in India is alarming. The speakers noted that it is important to preserve human rights until political disputes are resolved. They rejected Indian justification of violation of human rights and atrocities like disappearances, extrajudicial killings and sexual violence by terming the Kashmir dispute an internal matter. They also said that the UK had a responsibility towards resolution of the Kashmir dispute.


The participants of the event unanimously agreed that the issue of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir would be raised on all available forums and human rights bodies. Later, the British Parliamentary Secretary and the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK held a press briefing at the High Commission to inform the media about the event and the outcome.


For more information, contact:

Kashmir Media Service

Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549

Fax: +92-51-4861736



Related Posts