“India’s rhetoric having annexed Kashmir is utterly false pretention only to satisfy Hindutva myopic greed”

“Any unilateral declaration of any sort on the Kashmir dispute does not end the conflict”

Brussels; 5 December 2019: MEP Klaus Buchner in collaboration with Organisation of Kashmir Coalition (OKC) hosted interactive dialogue seminar to commemorate International Human Rights Day in the EU capital.

Frank Schwalba-Hoth (co-founder of German Greens and former MEP) in his opening remarks as a moderator of the seminar asked the participants that it is befitting to pay huge tribute to the people of Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir on the Human Rights Day bearing in mind that they have been subjected to gross human rights violations over the years and in particular locked down since 5 August 2019, when the government of India abrogated its own constitution articles 35A and 370. He reminded that the purpose of the abrogation is to ensure the demographic change by installing Hindutva settlements in various shapes and forms in Kashmir. Mr Schwalba-Hoth emphasised that the Kashmir advocacy within the European Union (EU) has to be strategised for 2020 and bring Kashmir on the high agenda of the EU. He hoped that MEPs such as MEP Buchner have to undertake lead role and the political groups within the European Parliament (EP) need to develop understanding on the current deteriorating situation of Kashmir.

Barrister A Majid Tramboo (Executive Member of OKC and European Director of IHRAAM) delivering his key note speech highlighted the legal angle of the Jammu and Kashmir issue under the International law linking it with the United Nations very specific resolutions on Kashmir. He emphasised that any abrogation of the domestic legal framework by the Indian government does not change the international recognised legal position on the Kashmir issue. Barrister A Majid Tramboo unequivocally stated; “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 by imposing- Sanik (military) settlement colony, West Pakistan Refugees settlement colony, Pundit settlement colony and Indian corporate settlement colony. The International disputed legal status of Kashmir is not altered whatsoever.” He further emphasised that the international community has to do more and the EU needs to adopt much bolder policy on Kashmir. Whereas Barrister Tramboo agreed that much vigorous advocacy is required within the EU institutions however, the EU’s focus on human rights situation (including the existing blockade) 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 such as MEP Buchner during the calendar year 2020.

MEP Klaus Buchner in his concluding 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 resolution of the Kashmir dispute. “No one is winner of the present stalemate; 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 Buchner assured Barrister Tramboo to work with him in 2020 to bring the Kashmir issue including gross human rights situation within the EU agenda in general but in the EP in particular.

Following the interventions from the panellists, 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 advises 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, asks 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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