SRINAGAR: An overwhelming majority of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called on India to immediately halt its “atrocities” in Kashmir, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said on Wednesday.
The members, according to a press release issued by Pak FO, were attending a landmark event on the rights situation in Kashmir and put their weight behind the recommendations of a United Nations report on the state of human rights in the valley.
The European Parliament’s sub-committee on human rights hosted an official exchange of views on the situation of human rights in Indian-administered Kashmir, the FO said adding that it is the first time since 2007 that the issue of Kashmir has been discussed publicly at an official European Union (EU) forum.
The discussion focused on the June 2018 report of the United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Kashmir. Christine Chung, one of the authors of the report was invited to the event by the sub-committee.
In her comments, she highlighted the “dire human rights situation” in the Indian-administered Kashmir and reiterated the OHCHR’s recommendations for establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive and independent international investigation of “human rights violations” in Kashmir, the FO said.
Sub-committee Chair Pier Antonio Panzeri in his opening remarks expressed the EU’s commitment to uphold and protect human rights throughout the world. The EU, he said, had never shied away from discussing human rights, even when it involved complex political issues.
He pointed out that the issue of Kashmir was the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of the United Nations, and that the EU believes that dialogue among nations is necessary to resolve such issues.
He, however, pointed out that the event was focused on the “human rights situation” in Kashmir and the plight of Kashmiris.
Besides Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, the debate was attended by a large number of MEPs, human rights representatives and civil society organisations, think tanks, diplomats from various countries and members of Kashmiri diaspora across Europe.
The MEPs who attended the event included Wajid Khan, Julie Ward, Baroness Nosheena Mubarik, Amjad Bashir, David Martin, Jordi Sole, Sion Simon, Jean Lambert, Richard Corbett, Theresa Griffin and Jo Leinen.
The overwhelming majority of these members highlighted the need for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue between Pakistan and India, and with full participation of Kashmiri people.