Delegation of the European Parliamentarians
July 30, 2019
Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) hosted an In-House Meeting on July 30, 2019, with a delegation of prominent European Parliamentarians led by UK-based Jammu and Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International (JKSDMI). The delegation was headed by Mr. Richard Corbett MEP, Leader of the Labour Party in Europe, and included Irina Von Wiese MEP, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Raja Najabat Hussain, Chairman Jammu & Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International (JKSDMI), Nazia Rehman MP, Cabinet Member for Finance, Sardar Sadique Khan, Lorraine Kirkwood, Assistant to Richard Corbett and Hussain Khan, Assistant to Irina Von Wiese.
Welcoming the delegation, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BOG ISSI said that the Kashmir dispute has three dimensions to it : political, legal and human rights. He went on to give a brief history of the dispute and said that the resolutions of the United Nations do not lapse with the passage of time. Hence, Indian argument that the resolutions are not valid now is misleading. He said that while the right of self-determination of Kashmiris is the fundamental issue, the human rights abuses and the draconian laws of the Indian security forces must not be ignored by the international community. He said that there are three ways for resolving the Kashmir dispute, one is through war, second through bilateral dialogue, and third through a third party intervention- the latter two have been staunchly refused by India.
Members of the delegation said that on the political front, there have been lots of potential solutions to the Kashmir dispute which have unfortunately not made any headway. The resolution in Ireland can be used as a blueprint in this regard. Human rights issue in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) should be a top priority. However, it should not be forgotten that while there are a vast number of human rights issues on the Indian side of Kashmir, there are a number of concerns on the Pakistani side of Kashmir as well which also need to be addressed. The delegation appreciated the access granted by Pakistan to foreign journalists and delegations to its part of Kashmir and regretted that international journalists are not granted such access by India to occupied Kashmir. The members were cognizant of the fact that Pakistan has paid a high price in the war against terrorism, and is still paying a high price because of internal, as well as external politics. Discussing the situation in Afghanistan, it was said that peace can only be achieved through a negotiated settlement.