Oslo seminar highlights grave HR situation in IIOJK

Oslo (Norway), October 28 (KMS): The Embassy of Pakistan in Oslo, the capital of Norway, organized a seminar in connection with the Kashmir Black Day observed on Thursday to mark 75 years of the illegal Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

The seminar titled “Human Rights Situation in Jammu and Kashmir” was attended by senior Norwegian politicians, Parliamentarians, social activists, journalists, representatives from think tanks, academia as well as prominent members of Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in Norway.

The keynote speakers at the seminar were Member of Parliament (MP) from Red Party Tobias Drevlend Lund, former MP Christian Democratic Party (KrF) Lars Rise, former Parliamentarian of Labour Party Khalid Mahmood, former MP Socialist Left Party Akhtar Chaudhry, and Representative of Socialist Left Party Mahmood Ahmed. Recorded messages by Mr. Geir Lippestad, Chairman Sentrum Party and Ms. Lee Rhiannon, former Australian Senator were also played during the seminar.

MP from Red Party Tobias Drevland Lund in his address emphasized that the international community has for long discounted the oppression in Kashmir, which has helped the Indian military to enforce a reign of terror for the past 75 years. He said, the employment of disproportionate force as well as the use of bullets and pellets, against innocent Kashmiri people, including women and children, is against all norms of humanity.

Tobias Drevland Lund maintained that there was a strong need for political awareness of the conflict and about the human rights abuses in Kashmir. He informed about his written question with reference to the Kashmir Black Day, to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, urging to utilize country’s UN Security Council membership to build consensus for referendum in Kashmir, in accordance with the UN resolutions.

He strongly rejected the Hindutva policies of the Modi government, and reaffirmed that his party would continue to raise the Kashmir issue in the Parliament. It would push the Norwegian government to put pressure on India to end the military suppression in Kashmir, and allow the people of Kashmir their right to decide their future, he added.

Lars Rise, former MP Christian Democratic Party (KrF), spoke about his prolonged and deep association with the Kashmir cause and said that he had raised the Kashmir dispute at several forums including the Norwegian Parliament and had been the driving force behind creation of the Kashmir Group. He stated that it was important for the international community to stand up for the Kashmiris, and to take a principled position to put an end to the atrocities. He assured his continued support to the Kashmir cause.

Mahmood Ahmed, representative of the Socialist Left Party, said that freedom and self-determination of the people of Kashmir was an important agenda of his party. He condemned the Indian illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019, wherein it unsuccessfully tried to alter the internationally recognized disputed status of IIOJK.

Geir Lippestad, Chairman Sentrum Party said that the illegal occupation of Kashmir by India was a blatant violation of human rights, that had been long ignored by the international community, including Norway. He added that Norway with a proud history of a good facilitator for peace negotiator must raise the Kashmir issue at UN for its settlement under the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The former MP of Norwegian Parliament, Akhtar Chaudhry, expressed concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in IIOJK and the incessant use of brute force by Indian troops on innocent Kashmiris.

The seminar was moderated by prominent Norwegian-Pakistani politician and former Labour Party MP, Khalid Mahmood, who mentioned that Kashmir was the oldest unresolved international dispute on the UN Security Council agenda. He called for a free and impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir under the relevant Security Council resolutions to allow the Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination.

Ambassador Babar Amin conveyed his deep gratitude to the speakers, guests as well as the virtual participants for attending the event in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that history of Kashmir was ripe with denial and abuse of human rights at the hand of Indian occupation forces. He highlighted the latest situation following the Indian illegal actions of 5 August 2019 to alter internationally recognized disputed status of IIOJK and making criminal demographic changes.

A large number of community members residing outside Oslo also joined the seminar through Zoom platform from all across Norway. The seminar was live-streamed on the Facebook page of the Mission and received wide projection through the social media platform.

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