Brussels,(Parliament Times): Speakers of an international online seminar called the international community including Europe to immediately prevent violations of human rights including basic human rights and democratic rights of people of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The webinar tiled, “Democracy and Human Rights: Curfew in Europe, Curfew in Kashmir: Let’s understand the difference.” was organized on occasion of the black day of 26 January.
It is important to mention that the black day of 26th January which is actually republic day of India, is being observed by the Kashmiris of both side of Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmiri diaspora around the world every year.
The webinar organized by Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) was attended by a number of European and Kashmiri political figures, intellectuals, experts of international and regional affairs and journalists. Speaking at the seminar former member of European Parliament (Former MEP) Dr Sajjad Haider Karim said, Modi undertook illegal act to bring the Jammu and Kashmir with in the direct control of New Delhi. He said, it is essential that the European Commission has to stand by laud and clear to the decision which was set up by the European Parliament in 2008 concerning the EU-India trade relations.
Holland based Political Psychologist Marjan Lucas said, we need international solidarity for the Kashmiri people despite this time of COVID-19. We here in Europe now also facing curfew due to this viral disease but it is different from the curfew which the Kashmiris are facing for a long time. In Europe, you can have a debate on what freedom do we want while in Indian occupied Kashmir, it’s a dramatic curfew which has been going on for many years, Indian forces and tanks move in the street of Jammu and Kashmir. Former MEP Saffaq Mohammed said, today, we all including UK and EU are facing a difficult time and no one happy with lockdown but this lockdown is different from Kashmir witnessed of severe violation of human rights. It is not only since 5th of August 2019 but Indian forces had already authority to shoot the people and violate the human rights in the occupied Kashmir. It is still continuing political figures arrested or detained at their houses. Although we have also a curfew in UK and EU but it is because of Covid-19, no one from political figures are arrested or illegally detained.
Chairman KC-EU Ali Raza Syed who hosted and moderated the online seminar said, we are trying to raise the awareness in Europe about the hardships of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said, Kashmiris have their aspirations to be freed from Indian suppression. They want liberty and peace and for that they are looking to the international community to come forward and help them.
Chairperson of Peace and Culture Organization Mushaal Hussein Mullick said, what is going on in Kashmir is genocide and the world doesn’t take care, especially the UN is not ready to listen to the plea of the Kashmiris. These international institutions including UN Security Council should support the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris seeking their freedom. She also highlighted Indian attempts for changing demographic situation in occupied Kashmir as New Delhi permitted the domicile to the non-Kashmiris allowing them to live and purchase property in the disputed territory.
Noted Intellectual and writer Cecil Shiraz Raj said, the situation in Kashmir has worsened comparing ten years ago. Ten years before there were human rights organizations working, existing in Kashmir and the media was free. Now the Kashmiri media is facing restrictions, no free media exist anymore in occupied Kashmir. The civil rights movement ten years ago were intact and international human rights organisations were allowed to go there, like international artists, journalists. We had no idea this situation can go even worth. He asked the Kashmiris to raise their voice and international community should support them.
Netherlands based journalist and historian Ewout Klei said, once the Netherlands fought for freedom in the Nazi times and today the Kashmiris do same against the occupation of their land by the Indian government. He explained how Nazis abused the human rights in the different European countries including hollands during world war II. Professor of history Dr Aslam Syed said, we can not compare curfew in Kashmir with the curfew in Europe because curfew in Kashmir is for constant suppression of the Kashmiris struggling for their basic rights. He further said, media is not free in Occupied Kashmir and we don’t know what is exactly happening there. Dr Aslam Syed added, Kashmir should raise their voice and world community should listen their voices
Hungarian journalist Mikulas Krivansky said, the solution of the Kashmiri people must come from back home, with the continuing support from outside. He also expressed regret over the denying right of citizenship to the minorities in some of the areas of India including Muslim population. The journalist also raised the issue of restrictions on INGOs including Amnesty International in India. Another senior European Journalist from Hungarian origin Endre Barcs emphasized that all the issues related to Kashmir including embargo on media should be raised in Europe. He further said, purpose of India by banning media in occupied Kashmir is to stop the spreading actual information of the severe situation in the disputed territory.
The session of questions and answers was also part of webinar during which the participate raised a number of the questions related to the issue of Kashmir.