European Parliament takes up IHK situation today

KARACHI: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said the European Parliament during its meeting on the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) on Monday (today) would hopefully raise its voice for the oppressed Kashmiris, who had been facing curfew and other restrictions for the past one month at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

Talking to reporters at the airport here, he said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to face embarrassment in his attempts to prevent the Kashmir issue from being highlighted internationally.

Qureshi said the Europe should play its role in solving the Kashmir issue.

“The European Parliament is expected to deliberate on the Modi government’s illegal actions in the IHK and raise voice against the human rights violations in the disputed territory, he added.

Qureshi called for release of thousands of Kashmiris imprisoned by the Indian authorities after the revocation of special constitutional status of the IHK on August 5 and criticised Indian brutalities, incessant curfew and other restrictions in the occupied territory.

He said there was no example of a communications blackout in history like the one imposed by New Delhi in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s video address to the Islamic Society of North America had served as a message to the Muslim world to wake up from its slumber and break silence over the human rights abuses of oppressed Kashmiris.

The prime minister, in his address, presented a comparative overview of Nazism and Hindu fascist ideology of RSS dominating Modi’s India, Qureshi recounted, adding that the premier also warned that if this thinking was not stopped, it might lead to destruction of regional peace.

The foreign minister said India called itself a democracy, yet the media there was facing severe curbs on its freedom.

Responding to a question, Qureshi said the opposition parties in Pakistan supported government’s efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue to the extent of National Assembly sessions, but if the opposition had joined Friday’s Kashmir Hour then it would have sent out a positive message to Kashmiris.

In response to another question, the foreign minister said the government was mulling over closing the airspace to India, but any decision on the matter would be taken after a careful consideration of its pros and cons.

Prime Minister Imran Khan would take a decision on the matter at an appropriate time, he added.

Qureshi said the prime minister would put the aspirations of Kashmiri people before the United Nations General Assembly on September 27.

The minister said no sensible person would want a war, but if a war was imposed, then the nation and army were ready to defend.

Responding to another question, Qureshi said over 80 percent of work on Kartarpur Corridor had been completed, and Pakistan would welcome the Sikh pilgrims.

To another query, he said a strategy had been formulated and the Kashmir Cell would place its recommendations before the public and the media.

The foreign minister said he would visit Geneva on September 9 where he would expose Indian atrocities in the IHK before the Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambassador-designate for the European Union (EU) Zaheer Aslam Janjua has reached the EU Headquarters in Brussels, as the European Union is taking up the IHK issue on Monday (today). The EU is the highest international forum after the UNSC where the IHK situation is being discussed.

Janjua, who was designated ambassador for the EU, EU Commission, Belgium and Luxemburg simultaneously, received the agreemaunt (consent of the host government) last month but he couldn’t move due to his engagements at home as additional foreign secretary at the headquarters.

He was given an extensive briefing on the assignment at the EU Headquarters, viewed as an important capital in the west.

The European Parliament, which will resume after a recess of six weeks, has requested the European External Action Service (Foreign Ministry of European Union) to submit a full report on violation of human rights and international law.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider who left for the United States and EU countries last month to highlight the adverse developments regarding the IHK situation, will be present at the European Parliament when it will discuss the Kashmir issue.

The chairman of Kashmir Council EU says the lockdown in Kashmir which is about a month old is a matter of concern. Ambassador Zaheer Aslam Janjua, a grade-22 officer of the Foreign Service, served the country earlier as envoy in Russia and other important countries. He will meet with the members of European parliament to brief them about the grim situation in the IHK where the Indian occupying forces are posted with the intention of genocide of Muslim community to change the demography of the area under illegal control of Indians.

Diplomatic sources told The News that a large number of Kashmiris, Pakistani and Sikhs are gathered in Brussels to express their sentiments in front of the European Parliament.

They also demonstrated their solidarity with the cause of Kashmir on Friday last.

Since August 5, the Kashmiri Diaspora, the Kashmir Council EU, JKLF, and Free Kashmir organizations have been protesting in front of the EU Foreign Ministry. They have also organised protests in front of the Indian embassy in Belgium and various other European cities.

Large demonstrations were also seen on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris late last month.

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