First ever conference on issue of Kashmir held in French Parliament

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Paris: (Rasheed Ahmed)  For the firsttime, the issue of Kashmir was highlighted in the
French Parliament in a symposium organized by Mr. Jean Bernard Sempastous, the
President of Pakistan France Friendship Group in the French National Assembly in Paris
yesterday.
The conference held on the theme,“Kashmir – the oldest conflict of the World”, was
attended by the members of the French parliament, scholars, researchers, human rights
activists and French and Pakistan media in large number.
Mr. Jean Bernard Sempastous in his remarks said that the conflict in Kashmir between
Pakistan & India was 70 years old and had caused thousands of deaths. He stated that as
there was little knowledge about Kashmir conflict in France, the Friendship Group
decided to organize this event many months ago. After a new historical turning point
since August, reflection on this oldest conflict of the world deserved our full attention. He
stressed the need for early resolution of Kashmir dispute and called upon both Pakistan
and India to exercise maximum restraint and take steps to resolve the issue by peaceful
means. He also stressed the need for restoration of fundamental freedoms of the people of
Kashmir.
The four panellists representing French think tanks, educational institutions and human
rights organizations shed light on the Kashmir dispute from the historical perspective,
current developments and future prospects.
The Ambassador of Pakistan to France MoinulHaquespeaking at the event thanked the
French National Assembly for organizing this first ever conference on Kashmir. He
highlighted the plight of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, who for the last seven weeks
were facing an unprecedented lockdown and curbs on their fundamental freedoms.
The Ambassador thanked the French human rights organizations and media for their
objective reporting and highlighting the sufferings of the Kashmiri people and the human
rights violations in IOK, which has been termed as the largest militarized zone in the
world.
The Ambassador also conveyed the message from President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar
Masood Khan in which he requested the French parliament to hold an open debate on the
humanitarian emergency in Jammu and Kashmir; France to lobby with relevant UN and
international organization to establish a humanitarian corridor for the people of Jammu &
Kashmir; and for France to play its role as permanent member of the Security Council for
peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per UN Security Council resolutions.The
President AJK expressed the hope that the people of France, who are the harbingers of
universally recognized fundamental freedoms and human rights, would also raise their
voices for the rights of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.