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EP called for intl inquiry for HR violations in Kashmir

19 September, 2019

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The European Parliament (EP) has called for initiating an international inquiry to independently investigate the human rights (HR) violations by the Indian forces in Kashmir following the revocation of Article 370 in the territory by the Modi government.

Condemning India for serious violation of basic HR, European parliamentarians demanded immediate restoration of fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people, besides calling for continuous Europe Union (EU) attention to the crisis.

Opening the debate on the current situation in Kashmir at the EP Strasburg France, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Finland Minster for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen said that the situation in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) has become alarming, there has been arrests of the political leaders, human rights (HR) defenders and complete breakdown of means of communications across the IHK. The EP high representative had already conveyed our concerns to the Indian external minister during their meeting on 13 August at Brussels, she said.

Finish Minster Tuppurainen urged the Indian government to immediately restore the fundamental rights, movement of freedom as well as excess to all essential services across the Kashmir. She underlines the importance of avoiding further escalation and stressed that dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channel is crucial.

Tuppurianen said that Kashmir issue can be resolved peacefully through direct dialogue between the two counties in respect of international human rights obligations. The Finish minster said that in the movement of raising tension in the regions around the world no one could afford another escalation in Kashmir. She said that the EU would encourage India and Pakistan to seek a peaceful and political situation to the issue respectful of the interest of Kashmir population on both side of Line of Control (LOC).

Belgian’s Member of European Parliament (MEP) Maria Arena addressing the parliament said since 5 August more than 300 people have been arrested on arbitrary bases, all types of communication has been suspended and emergency and hospitals services have run out of material and staff. Foreign Journalists and NGO’s have no access to the territory, she added.

Maria who represents the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament lamented that situation in IHK Kashmir is deteriorating, thousands of Indian soldiers have been deployed in the area which is the most militarised area in the world with than one million soldiers in IHK.

She said that the situation is evident from the UN reports in 2018 and 2019 which pointed out serious human rights violations with regards to the Kashmiri population and displacement of the local Kashmiris. The acts of raped are committed by the Indian forces in the valley and the unilateral decision of the Indian PM had made the situation worse, she concluded.

British MEP Shaffaq Mohammed addressing the meeting said that Kashmir is in international and HR crisis and the people of Kashmir have suffered and continue to suffer due the situation in the area. The ongoing crisis in Kashmir threatens the peace and security of the wider region which he called the most volatile in the UK.

Shaffaq Mohammed, representative of the renew Europe group in the EP reminded the MEP’s that the institution of the EU exist not to only protect the rights of its citizen in the EU, but they must also be the defenders of the HR across the globe. He further said that the people of Kashmir should be the one who decide their fate and future, self-determination and upholding the HR are fundamental values of the EU and we should demand the same from those who wants to trade and relationship with the EU, Shaffaq stressed.

Mohammed suggested that the EU can be a natural facilitator to re-initiate the dialogue between both Pakistan and India to resolve the issue of Kashmir. The people of Kashmir are crying out in the darkness and the EU must help and provide that light, he demanded.

British MEP and leader of the Greens/European Free Alliance’s Gina Dowding said that reports of serious HR violation have been coming for more than one month. The account of rapes, arrests, clashes and unlawful detention are truly appalling, she demanded that these violations should be stopped by the Indian forces not only for the sake of Kashmiri population but also for the hundreds of thousands of British citizens who are of the Kashmiri origin.

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