Parliamentarians shake world conscience on Kashmir at IPU meeting

ISLAMABAD, Oct 15 (APP):A delegation of Pakistani parliamentarians Tuesday stressed upon the international community to take notice of the situation of the beleaguered Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan’s viewpoint on Kashmir was conveyed by the Pakistan Parliamentary delegation, which met the President of the Inter Parliamentary Union Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron and the Secretary General of the IPU Martin Chungong separately here in the Serbian capital Belgrade, which is hosting the 141st General Assembly of the 188-member International parliamentary Union, according to a message received from Belgrade, Serbia on Tuesday.

The delegation, led by Chairman Kashmir Committee, MNA Syed Fakhar Imam and comprising, Senator Sherry Rehman, MNA Malik Ehsanullah Tiwana and MNA Shazia Marri, asked the IPU to send a fact-finding mission in the region to ascertain the scale and magnitude of human sufferings in Kashmir.

Syed Fakhar Imam stressed on the world parliamentary body to help convince India to implement the UN Security Council Resolutions in wake of the recent surge in New Delhi’s atrocities in the besieged valley.

He called for immediate lifting of all restrictions on mobility and communications as the valley had seen an uninterrupted round the clock curfew from August 5 till the end of September, only to be relaxed in select areas. This, according to Imam, had turned Kashmir into “world’s largest open air jail.”

He also deplored the inhuman detention of the entire Kashmiri leadership, including the abduction of thousands of young boys.

Referring to the recommendations of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, he favored the global human rights body’s call to establish a UN Inquiry Commission to investigate the human rights violations in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He deplored the fact that India had so far barred any international observer’s mission into Occupied Kashmir. “It is regretted to note that while the entire international media and global human rights organizations have condemned

India for its undemocratic and abrasive handling of the situation, it has so far failed in convincing the Indian leadership to revisit its fascist and racist actions,” said Fakhar Imam.

The Chairman Kashmir Committee also gave a comprehensive account of the Kashmir dispute and highlighted details of Indian atrocities over the years.

“Since 1989, around 100,000 Kashmiris have been martyred by the Indian occupation forces. Out of these 7,130 persons have been killed in custody,” said Syed Fakhar Imam.
He elaborated the plight of Kashmiris, by informing the IPU leaders that the occupation Indian authorities had even relegated to use rape as a weapon of terror.

“There are more than 12000 cases of rapes while over a million children have been left orphaned. The Indian forces have failed to give any account of the over 7000 mass graves, so far discovered with thousands of victims of fake encounters.”

Senator Sherry Rehman noted that as a global parliamentary multilateral forum, IPU was best placed to use its resources in bringing India to the negotiations table. “The very fact that India has continued to shy away from dialogue and has persistently barred any international agency or individual to
visit the besieged valley for facts ascertainment, proves itself that there are crimes against humanity that India is desperate to hide.”

MNA Ehsanullah Tiwana, the Chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Committee, joined his fellow parliamentarians in echoing the need to establish conducive environment in the besieged Kashmir Valley for a just and honourable settlement of the 72-year dispute.

Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the IPU observed that in her opinion the South Asian region and the Indo-Pak borders were the most dangerous borders in the world, which divided two opposing nuclear powers.
She stressed on the maintenance of peace and informed that she would be visiting the region in December this year in order to help develop conducive environment for dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU offered facilitating talks between India and Pakistan if the two sides agreed.

The eleven member joint Pakistani parliamentary delegation, attending the IPU, comprises of Senators Mohsin Aziz, Liaqaut Taraki, Sherry Rehman, Farooq Naik Javaid Abassi and MNAs Syed Fakhar Imam, Malik Ehsanullah Tiwana, Sher Ali Arbab, Dr. Haider Ali Khan, Shahzia Mari and Dr. Nisar

The members have remained active in raising the issue of Kashmir in various meetings of International Parliamentary Union.

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