Interactive dialogue seminar on Kashmir held in Brussels

Brussels, December 07 (KMS): The Member of European Parliament (MEP), Klaus Buchner, in collaboration with Organisation of Kashmir Coalition (OKC), hosted interactive dialogue seminar in Brussels in connection with International Human Rights Day, observed on 10th December every year.

Frank Schwalba-Hoth, former MEP, in his opening remarks as a moderator of the seminar told the participants that it is befitting to pay huge tribute to the people of occupied Kashmir bearing in mind that they have been subjected to gross human rights violations over the years particularly since 5th August 2019 when the Indian government abrogated special status of Kashmir and divided it into two union territories.

He reminded that the purpose of the abrogation was to ensure the demographic change by installing Hindutva settlements in various shapes and forms in occupied Kashmir. He emphasised that the Kashmir advocacy within the European Union (EU) had to be strategized for 2020 and bring Kashmir on the high agenda of the EU.

Frank Schwalba-Hoth hoped that MEPs such as Klaus Buchner had to undertake lead role and the political groups within the European Parliament needed to develop understanding on the current deteriorating situation of Kashmir.

Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, Executive Member of OKC, in his speech highlighted the legal angle of the Kashmir dispute under the international law linking it with the United Nations very specific resolution on Kashmir. He said, any abrogation of the domestic legal framework by the Indian government does not change the international recognised legal position of the Kashmir dispute. He said, “India’s rhetoric having annexed Kashmir is utterly false pretention only to satisfy Hindutva myopic greed; the abrogation is simply designed to achieve nefarious demographic change in Kashmir by adopting the Israeli model of settlements. The International disputed legal status of Kashmir is not altered whatsoever.”

He emphasised that the international community had to do more and the EU needed to adopt much bolder policy on Kashmir. He agreed that much vigorous advocacy was required within the EU institutions, however, the EU’s focus on human rights situation and right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir should be a priority when dealing with India. Barrister Tramboo concluded by declaring to run a high-profile advocacy and diplomacy with the assistance of MEPs during the calendar year 2020.

MEP Klaus Buchner in his remarks expressed immense grief at the current blockade of Kashmir and very serious human rights abuses taking place there. He advocates tangible negotiations and dialogue between all the stakeholders to end the Kashmiris’ unacceptable misery and to progress towards the political solution of the Kashmir dispute.

“Any unilateral declaration of any sort on the Kashmir dispute does not end the conflict; all the parties to the dispute particularly Kashmiris must be a part of any negotiations,” MEP Buchner added. In his conclusion MEP, he assured Barrister Tramboo to work with him in 2020 to bring the Kashmir dispute including grave human rights situation within the EU agenda, in general, and in the EP, in particular.

Following the interventions from the panelists, the seminar received contributions from the floor. Mr Philippe Jacques, DG office International Cooperation and Development – EU Commission, emphasised the need to have flow of credible information from the source which the European Commission can take on board and accordingly react to the situation.

Mr Willem van der Geest (Special Policy Research Studies and Networks – EU Commission, asked to explore the possibility to bring human rights abuses before the International Criminal Court, Mr Mine Yildiz of Diplomatic Academy stressed the need to heighten the Kashmir cause diplomatically. Mr Alla Aboudaka of Access Advisors advised to have “point-man” identified within the EU institutions as it was during the Kashmir Centre. EU period that took the Kashmir issue to higher levels and Ms Betty Claren, journalist, asked to engage western journalists at all levels.

The seminar was attended by academics, jurists, journalists, politicians, EP assistants, EU Commission officers and Non–Governmental Organisations.

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