Brussels conference calls for Pakistan to abide by its international obligations regarding the peoples of occupied Kashmir

Resolutions were unanimously passed following an international conference held under the aegis of United Kashmir People’s National Party ( UKPNP) and EU Today on Ist October 2021 at Brussels Press club.

The participants and the speakers jointly stressed the need for Pakistan to provide education to students in the administered areas of Jammu Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir in their own language. They also emphasised the fact that depriving students of their right to study their own peoples’ history is a clear violation of international conventions.

The conference, chaired by Mr. Jamil Maqsood, a Kashmiri human rights activist and senior official of the UKPNP, also expressed its stand against any ploy to divide Jammu Kashmir on communalism.

The conference emphasised the need for the government of Pakistan to abide by its international obligations on free press & media, and to take appropriate measures to curb malicious propaganda against academics, journalists, civil society activists, human rights defenders and political leaders and pro- unification political leaders in its peripheries, i.e. so-called Azad Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan.

The conference called upon the government of Pakistan to criminalise those human rights abusers who openly eulogised extremism and terrorism online.

The conference called upon the international community to exert pressure on Pakistan to make arrangements for a local bodies elections in so-called Azad Kashmir. The absence of such democratic institutions have completely marginalised local people.

Women must be allowed to fill 33% of the seats in all policy making institutions, including political parties, as per the existing law, the conference stated, adding that the aim should be equal representation.

The conference recognised that the future of the Pakistani peripheries is yet to be determined, and state subject Rule of 20th of April 1927 must be revived in Gilgit-Baltistan. The land rights of the people in those areas must be protected, and imposed demographic change would not be acceptable.

The conference expressed its concern about reports of the land seizure by the Pakistani military in so-called Azad Kashmir, and it called upon both Pakistan and the international community to take measures to safeguard locals people's land rights.

The conference finally expressed its deepest concern about safety and security of the travellers from Pakistani Administered Jammu Kashmir to Pakistan, and from Pakistan to those areas. The reports of harassment, intimidation and humiliation are disturbing in the border areas when entered into so-called Azad Kashmir.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

He is a of member the Chartered Institute of Journalists, a professional association for journalists, the senior such body in the UK, and the oldest in the world having been founded in October 1884

Gary's most recent book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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