ISLAMABAD/HELD SRINAGAR: The Members of the European Union Parliament on Saturday called for trade and travel sanctions on India over the alarming human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
The Co-Chair of the Friends of Kashmir Group in the EU Parliament, Richard Corbett, called for utilising all possible means to mount pressure on India to ease the military curfew in the occupied Kashmir. He proposed the imposition of trade sanctions on New Delhi and restrictions on the travel of those involved in committing human rights violations and acts of terrorism in IOK.
Corbett was speaking to a conference jointly organised by Friends of Kashmir Group in the European Parliament and the Jammu-Kashmir Self-Determination Movement at the European Parliament in Brussels. The Friends of Kashmir Group also proposed that a resolution be presented in the EU regarding the situation in the occupied Valley. Last month, members of this group had visited Azad Jammu and Kashmir. During the visit, the EU members had a chance to meet the victims of the unprovoked attacks from India on the Line of Control (LoC) and the relatives of those who had lost their lives in these attacks.
The group also met a wide range of civil society members including journalists, physicians, teachers, students and lawyers to collect firsthand information about the area. They called upon the Indian government to provide a similar kind of access in IOK so as to independently verify claims about lack of food, medicines and other items in the occupied Valley. Those who spoke at the conference included Anthea McIntyre, Shaffaq Mohammed, John Howarth, Irena Von Weise, Theresa Griffin and Raja Najabat Hussain.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan was also present on the occasion and welcomed the decision of the European Parliament to hold a debate on the situation in occupied Kashmir. He said the decisions reflected growing concern in Europe over the deteriorating human rights situation in IHK and warned about prolonged siege turning into genocide. He said all the developments in the Indian occupied territory fit into the definition and criteria of genocide and called for swift action by the international community to intervene and prevent a catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament (EP) is set to debate an urgent resolution for the horrible conditions including human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) more than a month after New Delhi scrapped the Muslim-majority region’s special status and put the valley on a lockdown. The European Union (EU) high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini is scheduled to deliver a detailed policy statement on the Kashmir situation during the EP General Assembly to be held in the French city of Strasbourg on September 17. The EP confirmed that Mogherini who is also the EU Commission’s Vice President would deliver the Kashmir statement following which the general assembly is expected to debate on an urgent conflict resolution in occupied Kashmir during a full plenary session.