MUZAFFARABAD: Lee Rhiannon, the former Australian senator and human rights activist, has reiterated her support for Kashmiris’ right of self-determination. The senior Australian Greens leader is currently visiting Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Speaking to reporters following a meeting with Speaker AJK Legislative Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir, she said that a recently issued report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations (OHCHR) on Indian-held Kashmir carries a lot of weightage.
The report provides vital information to common people and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for human rights, Rhiannon added.
She urged political parties and governments in the west to come forward and support the Kashmiri people in accordance with the recommendations of the OHCHR report. “We need plebiscite for Kashmiris. We need to end the human rights abuses and end the violence in the occupied valley,” she added.
Meeting young Kashmiris has been a highlight of my visit. Energetic, inspired, innovative and deeply committed to stopping the violence and holding the long delayed plebiscite so all Kashmiris have a say in their future. https://t.co/2JEoXdOpz6
— Lee Rhiannon (@leerhiannon) September 1, 2018
The former senator regretted silence of the Australian government on the issue in the past. “But people like me are committed to the right of self-determination of Kashmiris and we will put pressure on the Australian government to support Kashmiris on international fora including at the human rights council,” she added.
“We don’t intend to give it a Pakistan-India or Hindu-Muslim colour … it is the issue of Kashmiri people and their right of self-determination and we are here to support them.”
AJKLA Speaker Ghulam Qadir thanked the Australian leader for visiting the area and pledging full support to the oppressed people of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Later, he presented a shield to the visiting dignitary.