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Event Title: The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee

Event Date: 2020-09-25

The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has said that there are no political differences and divergences on Kashmir cause; the entire political spectrum shares the same line and passion to address this issue and ensure protection of fundamental rights of people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir he made these remarks during the Senate foreign Affairs Committee meeting held today at the parliament House which was briefed by the Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen M Mazari and Mr. Omar Waraich, Head of Amnesty International for South Asia Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that Pakistan has become the center point of strategic issues which is an important window of opportunity given the fact that our strategic move have compelled India to take defense position at various international fronts. He acknowledged that support to the Kashmir cause by the United Nation Secretary General and United General Assembly President during their to visit to Pakistan and letter from 14 US Senators demanding sanctions on India are successful interventions steered by Pakistan.

Dr. Shireen M Mazari, briefed the Committee on Human Rights Diplomacy; Challenges and opportunities for Pakistan.  She highlighted that notion of diplomacy has been changed; war has been replaced by ‘hybrid warfare’. No State is sovereign per se as they have voluntarily chipped away their sovereignty by agreeing to international agreements to govern their interstate relations in a growing number of fields. The Human Rights Diplomacy stresses the need to identify four main actors including States, Inter-Governmental Organizations (e.g. U.N., QAS, NATO, etc.) NGOs and   European Union (EU). Pakistan should utilize this evolving concept of Human Rights Diplomacy for highlighting the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K); the interventions can include,- lobbying with the EU and its Member States for revocation of the India’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP)Standard Status, imposition of sanctions on India in line with EU’s Directorate General for External Policies’ guidelines, 2015. Pakistan has to move proactively on multiple international forums in a coordinated manner; advisory opinion of ICJ on the matter would be a viable way forward. Mr. Omar Warraich, Head of Amnesty International briefed the Committee on the role of Amnesty International in promoting Kashmir cause. He informed that Amnesty international works in IOJ&K and in reviewing the human rights violations with grave concern. In this regard several reports have been issued highlighting the atrocities and human rights violations. Mr. Abdul Hameed Loan from All Parties Hurriyat Conference was also present in the briefing. 

The Committee also examined the matter of amount contributed by Pakistan so far towards financing of South Asian University (SAU) established by SAARC countries, which was raised by  Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, life threats/ extortion demands received by Senator Hilal ur Rehman from banned TTM (Jamat ul Ahrar) operating from Afghanistan, issuance of Notice by FBR to the Ambassador of Palestine. With regard to the observance of quota in posting of non-career diplomats aborad, the Committee asked Senator Dr, Shahzad Waseem, Leader of the House to take up the matter with the Prime Minister to consider giving adequate representation to people from Balochistan in said postings especially in Europe.

The Committee also considered the Public Petition Mr. Abdullah regarding release of his mother from UAE jail. The Committee noted with satisfaction that Mrs. Gul Bahar Begum mother of Abdullah has already travelled to Pakistan on 24th February 2020, which has also been confirmed via telephone by his son. Public petition by Mr. Zubair Khan for transfer to prison in Pakistan from Chian on medical grounds, the Ministry informed that transfer of sentenced persons between Pakistan and China was signed in November, 2018. Currently ratification of the treaty is under process. Once ratification is completed by both sides, the implementation of Treaty will start. Regarding Repatriation of Pakistani Juvenile prisoner namely Naseeb Ullah, a juvenile  from India, it was informed that Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi is vigorously pursuing the matter of his release at the earliest. The High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi is making every effort for early release and repatriation of all Pakistani prisoners detained in Indian jails.

The meeting was attended by Senators Abdul Rehman Malik, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Atta Ur Rehman, Dr. Asif Kirmani, Dr. Shahzad Waseem, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Nuzhat Sadiq, Seemee Ezdi, Sherry Rehman, Sitara Ayaz, Hilal ur Rehman, Dr. Shireen M Mazari, Minister for Human Rights, Omar Waraich, Head of Amnesty International for South Asia and senior officials from the Foreign Office.