The Jammu and Kashmir issue is an international issue, not a bilateral issue as projected by India, Sardar Masood Khan said, while addressing a Kashmir Conference organised by Pakistani and Kashmiri community in Sweden.
The conference was also attended by Sereken Kose, Chairman Human Rights Group in the Swedish Parliament, Pakistan Ambassador Ahmad Hussain Dayo, Ch. Pervez Iqbal Losar, Chairman European Union-Pakistan Friendship Federation, and Mr. Ghulam Mohammad Bhali, President EU-Pak Friendship Federation, Sweden.
The President said that, contrary to the impression given by India, Kashmir was an international issue which must be resolved in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions by ascertaining the wishes of the Kashmiri people through a plebiscite.
India, he said, calls it a ‘bilateral issue’ not to resolve the issue sincerely but to keep the international community away from the dispute so that it can perpetuate its occupation of part of Kashmir by use of brute force, genocide and altering the demographics of the occupied territory.
In bilateral talks, whenever they could be held despite India’s reluctance, India proved to be an unreliable interlocutor as it would either skirt around the issue or plainly refuse to talk on Kashmir issue substantively.
“The issue of Jammu and Kashmir impinges on peace and security of South Asia and the world at large because it is an unresolved dispute between two nuclear armed states. The conflict remains a live wire because of the massive human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and India’s constant violations across the line of control of the 2003 ceasefire arrangement”, he said.
The President said that Sweden, currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, has a responsibility to shine a spotlight on the Kashmir issue in the Council, an issue that is on the Council agenda. Sweden, he said, has a special interest in the region because over the years it has been contributing troops and experts to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). “This mission should have expanded and made more effective”, said Masood Khan
He also urged the Swedish Prime Minister and Swedish Parliament to raise with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the massive human rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir when he visits Stockholm on April 15, 2018
Serken Kose, Chairman of Parliamentary Group of Human Rights, said on the occasion that in the past a dialogue on the human rights situation in Kashmir in the Swedish Parliament has been missing because the focus has been mainly on the Middle Eastern issues. But from now on, he said, the Human Rights Group will develop this dialogue on respect for human rights in Kashmir with new ideas and perspectives. He said the Group would get the support of more friends within the Social Democratic Party and the Parliament to take cognisance of killings in Kashmir, other human rights violations, and especially fate of the human rights defenders.—PR