MPs urge US on Kashmir solution

Washington, July 6: European legislators and top experts have urged the United States to step up efforts towards resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

Speaking at a conference on ‘Kashmir Issue  Centrality of Kashmiris’ Rights,’ the speakers emphasized the rightful inclusion of Kashmiri voice in Pakistan-India dialogue process to resolve the decades-old conflict in accordance with wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Deputy Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Ola Lanke, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Member British House of Lords, Kashmiri scholar Dr Ghulam Nabi Mir and Dr Executive Director Kashmir Center Washington, Dr, Ghulam Nabi Fai agreed on the need for American and European lawmakers to end continued gross human rights violations in Kashmir.

As an expression of their concern over unspeakable atrocities inflicted upon Kashmiri civilians, Lord Ahmed suggested members of US Congress, the Norwegian Parliament and the British Parliament should bring out reports on human rights situation in IOK just as they have done in the case of conflicts elsewhere.

‘Time has come --- we all know how bad the situation is in Kashmir.  The world must do what it can to encourage a fair settlement of Kashmir,’ said the Norwegian parliamentary leader.

Lanke reminded President Barack Obama of his pre-2008 polls pledge to help resolve Kashmir dispute. He invoked the metaphor of Africans around the world seeing realization of their dreams in Obama’s election, and said the history-making U.S. president should pay attention to the South Asian tensions that demand ‘high-level’ attention.

‘The negotiations (between Pakistan and India) should be firmly anchored and must have a representative of Kashmir,’ he stressed. He said several members of the Norwegian parliament have raised the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir.

‘The access of humanitarian aid should be allowed to Kashmiri people. We are concerned over discovery of mass graves in Kashmir and an independent investigation should be conducted,” he said.

‘The Kashmiris have suffered more than any other nation --- it is important lawmakers in United States, London and Norway come up with reports on their plight.’

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, has called for appointment of a US special envoy in accordance with President Obama’s promise.

He laid out four aspects that must characterize talks between Pakistan and India if they are to be meaningful: the talks should have clearly defined parameters; should be time-bound; must take into account wishes of Kashmiri people through their representation; and India must bring to an end the killings of the Kashmiris.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Mir, President World Kashmir Freedom Movement, said India has tried to silence Kashmiris for decades through heinous means.  “India has attacked its neighbor (Pakistan) three times—spent billions on its offensive budget, put 600,000 soldiers plus in a small valley --- but it can never succeed in making Kashmir its integral part.” (APP)