We support early resolution of Kashmir issue: Austrian Senate chairman

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ISLAMABAD: The Austrian Senate Chairman Reignher Trodt has said that his country will play its part in resolving the long-standing Kashmir issue at the earliest.

He was speaking as chief guest at a seminar hosted by the Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), a non-governmental organisation, at Vienna Press Club on Friday in collaboration with the Social Democratic Party of Austria, according to a message received here Saturday.

The objective of the seminar was to apprise the world about the increased human rights abuses committed by the Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region, KIIR Executive Director Sardar Amjad Yousaf told journalists over the telephone from Vienna.

Addressing the seminar, Trodt termed blatant human right abuses in Kashmir as a humanitarian issue and called upon both India and Pakistan to resolve this dispute according to the aspirations and wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The people of this disputed region were the main stakeholders in the decades-old conflict between the two arch-rivals in South East Asia.

Trodt said that the 71-year-old issue had destroyed innumerable human lives, adding that Austria would play its due role for a resolution of the Kashmir issue in order to avoid further bloodshed.

Meanwhile, the AJK Legislative Assembly Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir urged the world community to end its silence on the plight of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), which had been turned into hell by the Indian occupation forces in an effort to suppress the just freedom struggle of Kashmiris. He also stressed that Indian intransigent attitude on this issue needed to change.

The KIIR executive director said, “India has blatantly committed a lot of war crimes during all the years of its illegal occupation of the Kashmir region,” he underlined.

On the other hand, KIIR Director Programmes Altaf Hussain Wani gave a detailed account of human rights violations in IOK.

“There is very little choice between life and death in the valley. New Delhi is using all its military might to crush the popular civilian uprising against its illegal occupation,” Wani said, adding that the right to life, freedom of expression and opinion had been choked by the oppressive Indian forces.

The seminar was addressed by Austrian Senate chairman, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir, KIIR Executive Director Sardar Amjad Yousaf, Director Programmes Altaf Hussain Wani, local community leader Dr Humira and office-bearers of the Social Democratic Party.