PM AJK’s participation in ”Kashmir-EU Week” Events

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Shaukat Ali,

BELGIUM: AJ&K Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan again, giving his best to promote Kashmir Issue at national and international fora and as usual, he made a very handy visit to European Parliament and exposed the Indian Army atrocities in occupied Kashmir by speaking in different conferences and interaction with dignitaries, representatives of human rights organizations, peace workers, members of civil society and media persons.
The Kashmir Council-EU organised the 2018 Kashmir-EU Week from November 5-9, 2018 in the premises of the European Parliament. An event organised by the Kashmir Council-EU with the support and collaboration of Wajid Khan MEP and Sajjad Karim MEP and a number of human rights organizations. The aim of the high profile event was to bring together representatives of different interest groups, European policymakers, experts from the Kashmiri diaspora and academics in a supportive environment where sensitive issues can be discussed. In addition, there was also had testimonies of victims and witnesses of human rights violations. The Conference themes & in particular the workshop were designed to make real progress in defining an agenda which can gain general acceptance from all stakeholders in the struggle for Kashmiri self-determination. Accordingly, the programme provided ample opportunity for debate, dialogue & exchanges of views. It was intended that these discussions could provide the basis for a more coordinated approach to the issue of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. In addition, it was also organized an extraordinary exhibition of images, handicrafts & artifacts which celebrated the beauty of Kashmir & the richness of its cultural heritage.
The organizers paid gratitude to the noted Belgian photographer Cédric Gerbehaye, whose work on display was tremendous in the exhibition.
Program of Kashmir-EU Week were included; Day 1: ‘Witness’ Session 2 ‘Conditions for a lasting peace’ Venue: European Parliament, Formal Opening of the ExhibitionVenue: Press Club Brussels Day 3: Session 1 ‘Building a consensus’ Session 2 ‘What the International Community should do.
After a fruitful visit to Brussels and United Kingdom the Prime Minister held a press conference at State capital and briefed the media on his visit.
During the interaction with journalists the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan termed European Parliament’s human rights committee hearing on January 23 on massive human rights abuses in IHK as a positive development and a great success of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
He appealed to the overseas Kashmiris to come with their families to record their protest against human rights violations by Indian forces against Kashmiris outside European Parliament on January 23.
“We need resolution of Kashmir conflict instead of composite dialogues that have always ended without producing any meaningful result. Things are so worst in Occupied Kashmir now that even the parliament had to be dissolved and replaced with governor rule” he observed.
“After martyrdom of Burhan Muzaffar Wani Indian forces have intensified the reign of atrocities and human rights violations. Kashmiris have strongly resisted Indian tyrannies and repressions. Last year was the year of martyrdoms” he stated.
The Premier was of the view that government of Pakistan should invite UN human rights commission to Pakistan to monitor the ground realities prevailing in AJK. People are enjoying complete freedom with not a single political prisoner in the liberated territory, he added.
PM Haider remarked that UN Human Rights Commission’s report has completely exposed the real face of India and its forces’ gruesome human rights violations in IHK.
He said whatever little blemishes we had of governance that have been set right in 13th amendment. If there is anything more to do that would be done in the 14th amendment.
Mr. Haider lauded the steps taken by Pakistan government by opening the Kartarpur border for religious pilgrimage. He assured that religious places of Sikhs and Hindus would be protected in AJK adding that they would be allowed to visit their pilgrimage in the State, if they so wanted.
PM Haider said that his government was taking steps for safeguarding the historic cultural heritance. The next year is being observed as the year of tourism for which comprehensive planning has been made, he explained. He said government was also taking steps to check environmental hazards. He said there is strict ban on cutting of forests in the State.
To a question the Prime Minister said the voice of Kashmiris is heard on international level. We are neither against the dialogue between India and Pakistan nor want any war between the two countries but talk with India should be held only when that country admits Kashmir as a disputed issue, he maintained. He however made it clear that UN resolutions provide the foundation of Kashmir settlement.
He said there is no support of India in AJK. However, there are few elements who are engaged in propaganda against AJK for money from India. These elements have no support from anyone from the liberated territory.
“Kashmir is a human issue. People of Kashmir have to give their verdict after plebiscite is held if they are willing to live with Pakistan or India. Kashmir is not a territorial issue between the two countries. We have an elected government in AJK while in occupied Kashmir there is governor rule. All the powers rest with the military there” he said.
The Prime Minister expressed his profound gratitude to Chairman of human rights committee of
European Parliament, members EP Wajid Khan, Chairman Kashmir Council Europe Ali Raza Syed and others for supporting the cause of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Organisers of the ”EU-Week”;Chairman Kashmir Council EU Ali Raza Syed, Senior Kashmiri leader Sardar Sadique, Chairman Kashmir Info Mir Shahjahan and former EU’s Ambassador Anthony Crasner in their the message said.
”Kashmir Council EU has organised Kashmir EU Week in collaboration with Kashmir Free Organisation Germany, Theatre X Germany, Kashmir Info Belgium, Kashmir Global Council, World Kashmir Diaspora Alliance and some other organisations.
They informed that the Kashmir EU-Week’s programmes comprising international conferences, seminars, debates, workshops, video casting of a documentary and a photos and a handicraft exhibition on Kashmir held from 5th to 11th November at EU parliament in capital city of Belgium but the exhibition held from 12thto 18 November at EU parliament in Strasburg, France
They thanked the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan for his active participation as a chief guest in the events. The reports containing latest facts and figures on the situation existed in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) was also presented during the EU-Week.
Ali Raza told that some of the delegates arrived in order to participate in the program. A large number of the people specially members of EU parliament, experts, intellectuals, human rights activists and scholars from Europe, America, Pakistan, AJK and Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) also attended the programme. The annual event of Kashmir EU-Week is being arranged by the Kashmir Council EU for several years and beside it, the council has so far held many other programmes including conferences, seminars, meetings and debates on Kashmir in Europe. One million signature campaign on Kashmir is also continued by Kashmir Council EU in different European countries.
The leaders said, creating awareness about the large scale human rights violations in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) is main objective of the programmes. The people of Kashmir have offered matchless sacrifices for the resolution of Kashmir dispute and the use of brute force cannot stop them from continuing the struggle to achieve the inalienable right to self-determination.
The people of AJK has warmly welcomed the Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan’s recent visit to European Parliament and expressed hope that his efforts for high lighting the Kashmir issue will strengthen the Kashmiris movement for right to self-determination accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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