The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan was held on Thursday at Parliament.
Meeting was chaired by Senator Professor Sajid Mir; the meeting was attended by Senator Falak Naz, Senator Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan, Senator Muhammad Qasim, Seantor Shahdat Awan, Senator Kamran Michael, Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt and senior officers from Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
The Committee took serious notice of the absence of the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan and were of the view that the Minister’s presence was imperative to discuss policy matters.
It was also decided that a meeting must be held prior to 5th August, 2021 in order to show solidarity with Kashmiris in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), showing support for the Kashmiri cause.
While listening to the spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs members recommended that details of all efforts made by MOFA must be shared with the Committee in an in-Camera meeting. Details of international stance on the subject were stressed.
Spokesperson MoFA informed the Committee that the Government of Pakistan (GOP) was pursuing a three pronged policy to highlight the issue internationally that included the legal aspect and the human rights and peace and security concerns in Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
The Committee was informed that two Human Rights reports were published under the UN umbrella, highlighting the plight of Kashmiris; sparking international dialogue.
Members of the Committee asserted that measures ascertained by MoFA are not enough and that there is more to be done to ensure that Kashmiris are accorded their rights. Chairman Committee, Senator Sajid Mir opined that the Kashmiri right of self determination was the main tenet of the Kashmiri cause which has been sidelined in the wake of human rights violations in the valley. He asserted that the Ministry must not lose focus and ensure that the Kashmiri right of self determination is pursued relentlessly. He added that it is important to understand once the right of self-determination is achieved, human rights violations will end. He stressed that the sacrifices made by Karshmiris in IIOJK must not be forgotten. Some members volunteered that visits must be arranged on self-finance basis so that the Kashmiri cause must be highlighted on every international forum.