LONDON: Lawmakers in the British Parliament were in uproar over the draconian clampdown in India Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and condemned the human rights violations by Indian security forces in the disputed valley.
The development came at the Kashmir Conference organised by the Tehreek-e-Kashmir’s United Kingdom chapter in the British Parliament. The event was co-chaired by British MP Jess Phillips, TeK president Raja Fahim Kayani with Azad Jammu & Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan called as the chief guest.
The AJK president warned of a genocide-in-the-making in the occupied valley and urged the international community to build pressure on New Delhi to avoid a bloodbath and adhere to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution.
President Masood added that the occupying forces conducted routine search operations to harass Kashmiris citizens.
Labour Party’s deputy leader and former defence minister Tom Watson affirmed support to the Kashmiris while MP Byrne dismissed India’s stance that the matter was a bilateral issue.
“Human rights violations are an international matter,” said the British lawmaker, adding that India must end the lockdown.
“It is time the Kashmir dispute be resolved with the consent of the Kashmiris – the main stakeholders.”
Reiterating support for the Kashmir cause, Phillips added that she will continue to push for a permanent solution.
AJK Chairman Public Accounts Committee Abdul Rashid Turabi also highlighted how Indian state terrorism had separated thousands of families by forcing Kashmiris to migrate since 1947. He said the speaker of the AJK Legislative Assembly was also one of the victims of Indian atrocities who moved to AJK in search of basic rights.
Turabi further said New Delhi was putting the entire South Asian region at risk by delaying the settlement. “It is the responsibility of the global community, including Britain, to pressurise India for a permanent solution.”
Hurriyat leader and Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) Altaf Ahmad Bhat said the Kashmiris wanted basic rights and sought implementation of the right to self-determination promised by the UNSC.
Underscoring the impact of the two and a half month curfew in IOK, Bhat said schools and business had been shut since August 5, pushing the people against the wall as India encroached Kashmiri political space.
“Educational institutions have been turned into army camps by the Indian troops,” he said and demanded the international community call on New Delhi to release political prisoners, civilians, human rights activists and end the information and communication blackout.
“Kashmiris have given generations to this cause – every family has suffered a loss due to Indian brutality. Every mother, sister, and daughter has a painful story to tell. We have been suffering for the past seven decades,” he said.
He added that the Kashmiris looked up to the United Kingdom to push for a permanent solution to the conflict.
MPs Jonathan Word, Cheryl Gillian, Tom Watson, Paula Sharif, John Cryer, Lisa Forbes, Steve McCabe, Kate Hollern, Steve Baker, Rupa Huq, Valerie Vaz, Trace Brabin, Liam Byrne, Liz McInnes, Imran Hussain, Afzal Khan, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Muhammad Yasin, Naz Shah, Shabana Mahmood, Rosie Duffield, John Speller, Colleen Fletcher, Ruth Smeeth, Jim McCahon, Judith Cummins, Kerry McCarthy, Stella Gracey, Roger Gadstiff and others also pushed for the right of self-determination for the Kashmiris.