Brigham, November 27 (KMS): The participants of a women conference in the United Kingdom have sought support from all those people who believe in a peaceful world to help bring an end to the atrocities and human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.

“Women in Crisis in Conflict Areas with Special Reference to Kashmir” on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The event was organised by Kashmir Women Movement UK and EU at Lord Mayors Council House in Birmingham, according to a statement issued at the end of the conference.

Full text of Statement as follows:

Kashmir women’s movement UK and Europe hosted first ever women’s conference titled “Women in crisis in conflict areas with special reference to Kashmir. The Conference was held on international day on violence against women.

Dr Shireen Mazari, Pakistan’s federal minister for human rights, was the chief guest at the conference. In her remarks she lauded the services of the victim genuine leadership for bringing together a group of eminent panelists. Well versed in the women issues in the conflict situations. She referred to her years of association with highlighting the Kashmir cause. She spoke about the sufferings and consequences of the existing conflict situation. She discussed the case of widows and half widows. She declared that no lip service could be helpful in a way forward. Result oriented efforts are needed to address the issue and the will of the people struggling for their rights should be honoured.

Mrs Shamim Shawl welcomed the chief guest Dr Shireen Mazari, panelists and all the participants, she said, “Today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, We gather together not only to address gender violence but to advocate against human rights and social injustice, atrocities, abuses and trauma of women and girls in Kashmir.

The United Nations have designated November 25th as the International Day of Violence against Women. The focus of this international conference on women is to highlight the violence against women in conflict areas. Women are the most vulnerable and worst hit section of society, especially in a highly militarised environment. They not only suffer from intense humiliation and harassment, but also undergo traumatic experiences with prolonged depressions developing long-term illnesses.

Mrs Shawl reminded the participants about the arrest of Kashmiri women leader Aasiya Andrabi who has been implicated in fake cases. She demanded her immediate release and appealed the international community to stop daily killings in Jammu and Kashmir”
Barrister Abdul Majid Tramboo, Chairman, International Commission for Human Rights in his keynote speech declared that Kashmiri Women’s plight in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is incredibly unimaginable. He referred to the European Parliaments resolution on mass graves and linked it with half-widows scenario. He highlighted the mass gang rapes of Konan Poshpora (1990) and Asifa Bano (8 years old girl) gang rape by the Hindu temple priests and police officers and declared that the cases such as these need the international human rights mechanism intervention. Barrister Tramboo articulated the work of victims genuine diaspora leadership at the European Union including the European Parliament that has strengthened the hands of MEP Wajid Khan who has now secured a Sub Committee on Human Rights hearing on 3 January 2019.

Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, chairman South Asia Centre for Peace and Human Rights in his remarks thanked Dr Mazari and panelists for sharing their views and highlighting the plight of Kashmiri women suffering at the hands of occupation forces. He pleaded that a way forward was the need of the hour and strong initiatives are needed to address the human rights concerns. All the friends of Kashmir have to play a pro-active role to set the stage for Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination and to bring to an end the incredible India’s incredible terrorism. Shawl welcomed Pakistan’s peace diplomacy and opening of Kartarpour corridor.

This places Pakistan at a high moral ground to intensify the campaign for seeking the help of the international community to end the sufferings of the people of occupied Kashmir

MEP and chair of APGK, Jullie Ward, said the cause of Kashmiri women became dear to her heart after she got associated with Kashmiri debates in Geneva and Brussels. She declared that she would advocate the plight of Kashmiri women in European parliament. She also referred to a recent conference on widows and half widows organised by her in the European parliament. The case of widows and half widows was brought up in a galaxy of women activists from different parts of the world.

Shabana Mahmood, member of UK parliament, welcomed the holding of the women conference. She informed the participants that Kashmir on the pattern of Palestine campaign would be set in motion by the Labour Party.

This was decided in a sideline event organised by SACFPHR/ICHR in collaboration with councillors working group. This agenda included launching of the Kashmir campaign and adopting a resolution on Kashmir in the Next labour party annual conference.

MEP Wajid Khan, member Human Rights Committee in European Parliament, thanked all his colleagues for their cooperation in his to secure a hearing on Kashmir in the European parliament. He also declared that though he is not a Kashmiri but the suffering of Kashmiris is a matter of great concern for him and he would continue to work for Kashmir cause.

Ms Zamurda Habib, Chairperson Kashmir Khawateen, in her video message articulated the unprecedented consequences of the conflict that has lead to uncertainty insecurity, militarisation and fear. Political dialogue stands frozen. She pleaded for restoring the right to travel to the political leadership including herself. She could not join the conference, as she had no travel documents.

Margaret Owen OBE and the founder of widows of all ages for peace and democracy said that she will work for widows and half widows of Kashmir. She would also like to include them in her global initiative of widows of all ages.

Soroya Boyd, chief executive Facilitate Global, declared her support to the struggle for right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and said that women of Kunan Poshpora are still crying for justice and there are documented evidences on the atrocities against the women of Kashmir.

Lois Herman founder of WUNRN sent her well wishes and her detailed paper on the subject that was discussed. Dr Madeline, founder of health and environment, also shared her views from Geneva.

Others, who spoke included Zara Zaidi and Nazia Rasool. Saima Haroon, secretary general KWM, conducted the proceedings.

A documentary on violence against women was also screened.

Birmingham declaration was adopted by the conference.

The text of the declaration reads as under:
– This international women’s conference its solidarity with all those women suffering in the ongoing conflicts in the world.

  • The victims of conflict particularly the women of Kashmir who are suffering on everyday basis should be supported by all those people who believe in a peaceful world and help bring to an end the atrocities and human rights abuse committed on them by the occupation forces.

  • We condemn the arrest of all the women activists arrested in fake charges and demand their immediate release.

  • We welcome the announcement of hearing in the European Parliament by the Human Rights Committee on 23 January 2019. We laud the services of Wajid Khan MEP and the Kashmiri diaspora leadership for making it happened.

  • We welcome the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s report on Kashmir and appeal the international community to endorse the fact-finding mission as desired in the report of the High Commissioner.

  • This conference calls for the implementation of the UN Resolutions and resumption of a tripartite dialogue among the stakeholders to create a congenial environment for determining the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to end all forms of human rights violations.

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