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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan

Event Date: 2018-06-27

Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan in its meeting on Wednesday has adopted a declaration condemning the reprehensible and blatant use of force by Indian occupation forces against innocent Kashmiris, whose only demand is the realization of the right to self-determination. The Committee also condemned the killing, arbitrary detention, use of pellet guns, torture, enforced disappearances, restriction on freedom of expression by reprisals against human rights activists, rape and sexual violence.

The urgent and single agenda meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Professor Sajid Mir here at the Parliament House and was attended among others by Leader of the House Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq, Senators Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Tirmzi, Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qayyum, Abdur Rehman Malik, Caretaker Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Convener of All Parties Huriyat Conference in AJ&K and Pakistan Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Abdul Majeed Malik, and other representatives from Kashmir.

The Committee members, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kashmiri leaders jointly called upon the UN High Commissioner to send a Commission of Inquiry to Iok, immediately considering the increasing intensity of violence and use of force against the Kashmiri people in Iok and underscored the indigenous nature of the Kashmiri struggle in Iok. The Committee also called upon the UN to implement its resolutions on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

Ghulam Muhammad Safi while outlining the Kashimiri movement observed that Kashmiris do not want just any solution to the issue but a durable and just resolution that is representative of aspirations of Kashmiri people. He said that Kashmir is not willing to sit with India alone and wants a tri-party dialogue table where Pakistan, Kashmir and India are present. He said that Kashimiris will never be influenced because of the economic packages Indian government provides and nothing less than the right to self-determination is acceptable.

Foreign Secretary while briefing the Committee told that intensity of Indian atrocities has been on an increase and Indian government seeing the huge population that attends funerals of martyrs has prepared a list of 22 Kashmiri activists that it intends to martyr and has announced that their bodies will not be given to their families so that there are no mass funerals.

Senator Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq, on whose initiative the meeting was called, remarked that India has been trying its best to hide its atrocities from the world by not allowing any observer mission of Human Rights team to visit IOK but it has failed miserable in containing the movement that is gaining momentum every passing day. He observed that publication of the recent report of UN Council on Human Rights has also exposed Indian propaganda and has shown its real face.

The meeting agreed that there is a need to present a strong narrative of Pakistan and Kashmir to counter the false propaganda being spread by India calling the Kashmiri movement a form of militancy instead of a liberation movement. The participants in the meeting agreed that for a stronger Kashmiri cause, a strong and sovereign Pakistan is a basic requirement. The Committee called upon political parties to include Kashmiri cause as a part of election manifesto, having Kashmir desks in major countries, making lobbying effective and more engagement at political and diplomatic level.