European Union’s Sub Committee on Human Rights hosted an official exchange of views on situation of human rights in Kashmir at the European Parliament in Brussels.
This was for the first time after 2007 that the issue of Kashmir was discussed publically at an official EU forum.
In his remarks, the Chair of the Sub-Committee Pier Antonio PANZERI reiterated EU’s commitment to uphold and protect human rights throughout the world. He pointed out that the issue of Kashmir was the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of United Nations. EU believed that dialogue among nations was necessary to resolve such issues.
The discussion focused on the June 2018 report of the United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR)on Kashmir.
Christine Chung, one of the authors of the report was especially invited for the occasion by the sub-committee. In her comments, she highlighted the dire human rights situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir and reiterated the OHCHR’s recommendations for establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive and independent international investigation of human rights violations in Kashmir.
Besides Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, the debate was attended by a large number of Members of European Parliament, representatives of human rights and civil society organizations, think tanks, diplomats from various countries and members of Kashmiri diaspora across Europe.
Overwhelming majority of the European parliament members rallied behind the recommendations of the OHCHR report and called for their full implementation. They called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in the Indian-held Kashmir and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations. The members also highlighted the need for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue between Pakistan and India, and with full participation of Kashmiri people.
The event is a huge diplomatic success for Pakistan as it is the first time in more than a decade that the EU has officially organized an event on Kashmir, where Pakistan’s concerns regarding India’s human rights violations in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir have been discussed.