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Masood thanks UK, EU lawmakers for supporting Kashmir cause

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan expressed his gratitude towards British and European parliamentarians for their “abiding and steadfast cross-party support” for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and protection of their human rights.

“At this crucial hour, we need their voice and outreach to their respective governments along with the United Nations and relevant multilateral institutions to build pressure on India to stop forthwith massive transfer of its population to the disputed India-held Kashmir, in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention and customary international law,” he said. Mr Khan made these remarks while addressing a virtual convention, organised by United Kingdom-based organisation Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK), through a video link. Representatives of TeK from the UK, Denmark, Scotland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland attended the convention.

“The new domicile rules are modelled on last century’s Nuremberg Laws of the Nazi Party; they are a war crime,” Mr Khan said, while acknowledging efforts of All Party Parliamentary Group as well as hundreds of European parliamentarians, who had tabled half a dozen resolutions in March this year, seeking a UN-led settlement of the “festering” Kashmir dispute.

“We will continue to rely on their goodwill, parliamentary networking and diplomatic skills to seek justice for the people of India-held Kashmir,” he added.

He also thanked Kashmiri communities, settled in the UK and Europe for highlighting atrocities being committed by India in the disputed territory.

“The bodies led by Mohammad Ghalib and Raja Faheem Kiani, respectively, are doing a remarkable job with regard to raising awareness in their respective spheres about the Kashmir dispute. It is a matter of great satisfaction that members of the diaspora community are now quite active from Europe and America.

“However, there is a need to further familiarise our younger generation residing abroad about our history, sacrifices rendered by our forefathers and genesis of the Kashmir issue. Due to the untiring efforts of TeK-UK, more than 50 MPs from the UK participated in a conference on Kashmir on February 4 in the British Parliament, where lawmakers from both Tory and Labour jointly supported Kashmiris’ movement for right to self-determination and condemned lockdown of the held valley,” he added.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2020