The parliamentary Committee on Kashmir paid glowing tributes to the late Syed Ali Geelani on Wednesday, describing him as the father of Kashmiri freedom struggle, and welcomed the new leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) headed by Massarat Alam Bhat.
The committee in its 23rd meeting, chaired by its chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi, lauded the role of Azad Kashmir government, the armed forces, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for successfully organising the Kashmir Premier League (KPL).
The meeting was attended by Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Hilal Hussain, National Security Division Secretary Amir Hassan, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, KPL President Arif Malik, CEO KPL Shehzad Chaudhry Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Qayyum Niazi and others.
Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi asked the world community on Wednesday to take cognisance of the Indian oppressive tactics against Kashmiri journalists to gag Kashmiri media and persecution of Kashmiri political prisoners languishing in Indian jails.
At the onset of the meeting, the participants offered Fateha for the departed soul of Syed Ali Geelani.
Afridi paid glowing tributes to the late Geelani, the father of Kashmiri freedom struggle. Niazi also paid tributes to Geelani, saying that he took the Kashmiri freedom struggle to the next level.
Afridi tabled a resolution to pay glowing tributes to Gilani and Kashmiri martyrs which was passed unanimously. “This parliament which is the voice of the nation and every household, every Pakistani offers Fateha and tributes to Syed Ali Geelani as well as all those who laid down their lives for the freedom struggle of Kashmir,” said the resolution.
Another resolution passed by the committee welcomed new APHC Chairman Massarat Alam Bhat, Vice Chairman Syed Shabbir Shah and Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar and other office-bearers and prayed for their success.
Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar informed the committee that the foreign ministry had been pursuing the case related to the illegal custody of the body of Syed Ali Geelani by the Indian occupation forces and the forceful burial.
“Pakistan is also monitoring the registration of false case against the family of the late Geelani under black law of ‘Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)’ and will raise the issue at all global forums,” the spokesperson said.
“Kashmir is a national agenda. Pakistan is alive to the situation and measures are being taken in this regard,” the spokesperson told the committee, while briefing it about the measures taken to highlight the Kashmir issue at the international platforms. “The foreign missions have been fully activated.”
The AJK prime minister said that the way Prime Minister Imran Khan had been raising the Kashmir issue at all international forums, was unprecedented in history and Kashmiris were very happy to find that they had a strong voice of reason now.
Afridi, the committee chairman, said that Indian forces were involved in the persecution of the Kashmiri politicians in jails, adding that India was committing war crimes against Kashmiris. “It is a pity that the world’s human rights organisations are not taking action over India’s genocide of Kashmiris.”
Taking exception to the Indian persecution of the journalists, the committee chairman said that the occupation forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) wanted to stop imagery coming out of the region.
Briefing on the successful holding of the KPL, Afridi said that the tournament brought about a revolution in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the people benefitted from it all round – from economic activities and tourism to the social fabric of Kashmir.
He lauded the role of AJK government, the armed forces, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the KPL management for making the event a resounding success. He said that the KPL put Kashmir on the global sports map and sent a message across the globe.
“Sports and culture bring the people together, and the way the KPL has united the Kashmiris is unprecedented,” he said. “Pakistan has been facing cultural invasion from India but now Pakistan has started to showcase Pakistani culture and heritage globally.”
PCB CEO Wasim Khan briefed the committee about the Indian pressure to scuttle the KPL. In his briefing, KPL President Arif Malik detailed the success of the KPL. KPL President and franchisee owners expressed gratitude to Afridi for taking the Kashmir cause to the international audiences.
Prime Minister Abdul Qayyum Niazi showered praises on the Kashmir Committee Chairman and the KPL team for making the event a success. He said that the KPL created ripples across the globe and it had promoted the Kashmir cause globally.
Referring to the Defence Day, Shehryar Afridi paid tributes to those martyrs who laid down their lives in 1965 and in other wars to defeat the enemy.
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