International delegates to attend moot on Kashmir



For the first time in its history, the country’s parliament is going to host a two-day international conference to highlight the plight of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

The conference, which starts from Thursday (tomorrow), would be attended by top lawmakers and parliamentarians from European Parliament, British Parliament and international scholars.

An official source involved with the preparatory arrangements for the moot told Pakistan Today that Lord Nazir Ahmed, Afzal Khan and an EU parliamentarian had already arrived in the federal capital. In addition to around 20 members from different parliaments and experts from Europe, UK, Canada and North America, 400 national delegates comprising Members Parliament of Pakistan, academia, social scientists, think tanks, reporters and students, will be attending the moot.

Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan as well as the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are collaborating with the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) of National Assembly to convene this seminar on 5-6 January.

The event aims to analyse the plight of people in IOK and Indian brutalities since the rise of the new wave of self-determination after the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in July last year.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq floated the idea and designated Ms Shaza Fatima Khawaja, MNA, as its convener. MNA Ms Romina Khurshid Alam, Media Coordinator of YPF, will be serving as the Chief Coordinator for the Seminar.

Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif would grace the inaugural session for the formal commencement.

The Kashmir dispute is a test case for the United Nations Security Council as UN recognises Kashmir as a disputed territory. Several resolutions have been passed and various observer groups have been deployed, and yet the dispute continues to linger on. Since 1989, there has been blatant state terrorism by 0.7 million Indian troops who have killed more than 89,000 innocent men, women and children in their just struggle of self-determination.

The seminar will provide a platform to highlight three primary aspects of the issue: firstly, solution of Kashmir is imperative as it has become a clear issue of humanitarian crisis with thousands killed.

Secondly, Kashmir is a disputed territory as per UNSC resolution and a nuclear flashpoint that remains to threaten peace and security of South Asia, the most populated region of the world.

Thirdly, it is totally an indigenous and peaceful struggle of people of Indian Occupied Kashmir and the world community needs to recognise and respond to their just movement for a right to self-determination.

The seminar is spread over a period of two days with debates and talks on various crucial issues. Welcome address of the opening plenary will be delivered by MNA Shazia Fatima Khawaja, followed by a keynote address by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. A speech by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs, will then be delivered. Prime Minister will conclude the ceremony with his remarks.

After the inaugural session, first plenary panel discussion would be held on ‘the Role of the United Nations and Major Powers in Kashmir Dispute’. The session would be chaired by Sardar Masood Khan, President of AJK. The second debate/discussion would be held on ‘Kashmir Issue: In perspective of Humanitarian Crisis’ to be chaired by Ms Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting. The third intellectually engaging panel discussion is titled ‘Pakistan-India Relations: Socio-economic and Security Implications’, and would be chaired by Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan, Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The concluding session of the International Seminar on Kashmir would be addressed by Chairman Senate of Pakistan Mian Raza Rabbani. This session will include the revision and consolidation of points discussed in the plenary sessions. Ms Romina Khursheed Alam will deliver a note of thanks as the official conclusion of the seminar.


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