Govt urged to raise India’s rights violations with Biden administration

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee wants govt to ensure that RSS-BJP nexus is 'fully exposed and penalised'


News Desk January 28, 2021
Shia Muslims are detained by IIOJK police while trying to participate in a Muharram procession, in Srinagar, August 28, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday urged the government to raise the issues of grave human rights violations by India with US President Joe Biden's administration as well as at all international fora, particularly the UN Human Rights Council, the European Parliament and the European Union Court of Human Rights.

The committee stressed upon the government to ensure that "the RSS, which is the mainstay of Indian state extremism and terrorism, was fully exposed and penalised" at all international fora.

It lauded the January 26 Black Day protests in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) as well as within India and expressed solidarity with the struggling Sikh farmers.

“It is heartening to note that famous Pakistani songs have become popular anthems of resistance among the Indian people," said the resolution passed by the committee, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed at the Parliament House in Islamabad today.

In the meeting, a detailed three-hour-long briefing was provided by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the committee on the situation in IIOJK with reference to political prisoners, as well as foreign policy challenges for 2021.

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee saluted the heroism, courage, and resilience of Kashmir political prisoners including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Aasiya Andrabi, Syed Ali Gillani and Mir Waiz Umar Farooq and demanded their immediate release as they are held illegally on trumped-up charges.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the foreign minister presented the dossier on “Indian state sponsorship of terrorism and destabilisation in Pakistan” to Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed who directed the Foreign Office for the wide dissemination of the dossier internationally.

Read More: Kashmir — all talk no action

Relatives of prominent political prisoners in IIOJK like Mushaal Malik, the wife of Yasin Malik together with her mother and daughter, as well as Dr Mujahid Gillani, the nephew of Mohtarama Aasiya Andrabi plus prominent Kashmiri activist in the UK, Raja Najabat Hussain also attend the meeting on special invitation.

FM Qureshi informed the committee that the OIC Foreign Ministers Conference will be held in Islamabad later this year, in which the primary focus would be the situation in IIOJK, and in this regard, the government will ensure that human rights and the issue of Kashmiri political prisoners would be at the forefront.

Qureshi also informed the committee that an Economic Diplomacy Division has been established in Foreign Office which would focus on trade, commerce, and investment as key components of Pakistan foreign policy.

The foreign minister also briefed the Committee that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had now entered the second phase in which relocation of Chinese industry, job creation, and the activation of two new joint working groups on agriculture and international cooperation, respectively, will be a force-multiplier for building CPEC.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi informed that he had just concluded a virtual envoys conference for Africa and he was convening another virtual envoys conference for Europe.

Pakistan hopeful for positive decision at next month’s FATF meeting

The foreign minister also said that on FATF, the Foreign Office was hopeful that a positive decision would be made for Pakistan at next month’s FATF meeting, since out of 27 items, Pakistan was fully compliant with 21 and there had been substantial progress on the remaining 6 items and he was hopeful that no politically motivated decision would be taken.

On the coronavirus pandemic, FM Qureshi said that China has agreed to gift 500,000 doses of vaccine plus another 1.1 million doses would be given very soon.

The foreign minister also briefed the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Pakistan Foreign Policy’s priorities with reference to relations with China, the Muslim world, engaging with the new Biden administration, Afghanistan, India, and the EU.

The committee members thanked the foreign minister for his comprehensive and candid briefing and Senator Mushahid Hussain said that, as in the past, the Foreign Affairs Committee would continue to preserve, promote and protect Pakistan’s national interest with particular reference to foreign policy and national security and function above partisan politics and be a force-multipliers for Pakistan’s core interests.

A candid discussion also ensued amongst the members present including Senator Javed Abbasi, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, and Senator Seemee Ezdi.

The committee meeting expressed strong solidarity with the courageous people of IIOJK for their heroic resistance to repression, despite the heavy odds.

"This resistance shows that the Indian government’s action on August 5, 2019, has not only failed totally, but it has been resolutely rejected by the struggling people of occupied Kashmir and the status quo is no longer tenable."

The Senate committee also saluted the heroism, courage and resilience of those Kashmiri political prisoners like Syed Ali Gillani, Aasiya Andrabi, Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and all other political prisoners held illegally by the Modi regime, be they children, women or men. The committee demanded their immediate release as they are held illegally on trumped-up charges.

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee urged the Modi regime to read the writing on the wall as January 26 was marked as a Black Day by all those resisting the Modi regime’s tyranny.

The committee expressed solidarity with the struggling Sikh farmers who raised their holy banner on the Red Fort in New Delhi whose symbol of resistance is a popular anthem, which is actually a Pakistani song.

Govt urged to raise Indian human rights violations with Biden administration

The committee also expressed condolences to families of all those farmers and other communities, who have been martyred at the hands of the RSS bigotry, with over 10,000 farmers having committed suicide in 2019, while Muslims have been lynched and arrested just because of their faith.

The committee urged the government of Pakistan to raise these issues of grave Human Rights violations at all international fora, particularly the UN Human Rights Council, the European Parliament, the EU Court of Human Rights as well as the new Biden administration so that "the RSS, which is the mainstay of Indian state extremism and terrorism, is fully exposed and penalised."

The committee also urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to widely disseminate the dossier on state terrorism by India, as Pakistan is the victim of such state terrorism of India.

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