European Parliament to hold hearing on HR abuses in held Kashmir


ISLAMABAD: As another sign of the international community’s attention towards the Kashmir dispute, the European Parliament is going to hold in Brussels a historic hearing on the human rights abuses in India-held Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the hearing will be led by a United Nations (UN) expert. The exchange of views will take place in the human rights committee and will focus on the UN report condemning abuses in Kashmir.

Wajid Khan, a British member of the European Parliament, who was instrumental in securing the hearing said, “Today is monumental. For too long the world has ignored the most militarised zone in the world. The Kashmiris have suffered brutal attacks, including sexual violence and forced disappearances.”

He further said the hearing would not change it overnight, but the international community is finally taking note. “The world is watching and hopefully together we can achieve peace.”

He said at one point, peace in Northern Ireland seemed distant and near impossible, but now it is hard to believe that the troubles happened in Europe only 20 years ago. This, he added, could also happen in Jammu and Kashmir in case everyone worked towards establishing peace and prosperity in the region.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, hosted a dinner in the honour of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister (PM) Raja Farooq Haider Khan and the Members of European Parliament at the Pakistan House in Brussels.

Speaking to media on the occasion, Raja Farooq Haider said Pakistanis expect that Indian policymakers will not make statements that will further aggravate the already tense situation between the two neighbouring countries. He said in such a case the situation would get out of control and the world would be left to rue only.

Besides the AJK PM, the dinner was attended by MEP Wajid Khan, MEP Sajjad Karim, MEP Julie Ward, MP Afzal Khan, MLA Raja Javed Iqbal, MEP Jean Lambert, MEP Baroness Nosheena Mubarak, JKSDMI Chairman Raja Najabat Hussain and others.