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LONDON DECLERATION 2019: THERE IS ONLY ONE KASHMIR!

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By Sheni Hamid

Highly respectable leader Mr Afzal Khan MP Shadow Minister (Home Office Immigration) has hosted an extremely successful and important conference in the British Parliament on 24th of April; the event was assisted by Fahim Kayani President Tehreek-E-Kashmir UK and the topic was ‘Kashmir - Youth and Women’.

 

His Excellency President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan was a Chief Guest and the speaker in this important conference; with many key names also taking part during the session: Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA & Convenor All Parties Kashmir Coordination Council AJK, Lord Qurban Hussain, MP Imran Hussain, , MP Kate Holland , Baroness Sheehan, MP Tracy Brabin, MP James Frith, MP Naz Shah, MP Faisal Rashid, MP Yasmeen Qureshi, MP John Speller , Muhammad Ghalib President Tehreek E Kashmir Europe, Dr Syed Nazir Gillani , Muzzamil Ayub Tahkur, Kathryn Irrgang writer and presenter, Bilal Bin Saqib London School of Economics, Shaista Akhtar University of Westminster, Asma Khawar Khawaja Lincoln Inn, Asia Hussain, Sadia Mir Lecturer University of London, Momin Saqib Kings college London, Jespreet Singh Birmingham City University, Sehrish Lone Edge Hill University, Aliza Ayaz, University College London, Danyal Khan University of London,Zubeda Begum HR activist…

 

Of course, Mr Afzal Khan himself is not a stranger when it comes to peaceful events as he is also a pioneering leader on Islamophobia topic and continues with his efforts with actively taking part in Prime Minister’s Questions about Islamophobia in the British Parliament. After all he always states that ‘Political parties have an undeniable duty to root out all forms of bigotry in order to ensure that they truly represent the diverse society in which we live and ensure that every single member of our society feels engaged, protected, respected, and valued’…

 

Hence, as an elected Vice-Chair of the APPG on Kashmir, Mr Afzal Khan continues this important work, with a hope to see peace and prosperity restored in the Kashmir region as well.

 

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The importance of this conference was of course to show a solidarity against human rights abuse as well; as the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir is an extremely serious situation. Additionally, as the 2018 Report of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted ‘a resolution is desperately needed for the sake of the Kashmiri People’.

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Eventually, at the end of this important conference the following resolution was adopted, which all the participants did proudly agree upon:

 

‘The London Declaration 24th April 2019 Conference’

 

This Assembly of British Kashmiri diaspora, human rights defenders, NGOs and other participants from overseas at the "Kashmir Youth and Women Conference", Take serious note that Indian Government has added 80,000 (Eighty thousand) more military personnel, since the UN High Commissioner in his June 2018 report, confirmed the number of Indian military personnel to be between 500,000 to 700,000 in Indian occupied Kashmir.

In light of recent tensions between India and Pakistan, it is important that the international community takes positive steps to avoid such escalation between two nuclear armed states again. We hope the UK Government helps to broker peace between the countries and highlights the voice of the Kashmiri people.

This Assembly calls upon the lawmakers of the United Kingdom to raise their forceful voice, for bringing an end to the cycles of human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. We hope a resolution to this effect will be adopted by Parliament so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir no longer suffer.

The Assembly would like the UK parliament to support, the UN calls to the Indian government to repeal such oppressive laws as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), which grant Indian military forces immunity from prosecution for human rights violations.

The Assembly would also like the UK per parliament to support calls for all the fundamental freedoms listed in UN Resolution of 21 April 1948 to be guaranteed.

The Assembly takes a serious note and condemns the decision of the Government of India to ban Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir (Indian occupied Kashmir) and JKLF for five years. The ban is a violation of the rights guaranteed under UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948. All political leadership in Kashmir should be able to freely exercise their rights and not face persecution. Most recently, we condemn the continuing incarceration and deteriorating health, of Yasin Malik, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, who is currently in poor condition and despite serious concerns over his health, is still under arrest.

This Assembly resolves that only a constructive dialogue involving all parties, Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis is essential to solving this seven-decade-long dispute. A significant Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani population coexisting peacefully in the UK support calls for the implementation of UN resolutions granting Kashmiri the right to self-determination.

We welcome the UN High Commissioner’s report and the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir and urge the Commonwealth and Foreign Office to take serious notice of these reports.

We support the request of the UN Human Rights Commissioner to send a fact-finding mission to assess the situation.

This Assembly wishes to express its deep gratitude and wishes to thank all well-wishers who are on the right side of the people of Kashmir and support the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

We urge the UK government to avoid a policy of appeasement, to urge the UN to condemn the threat of Nuclear Terrorism and to stand firm against the rise of Fascism in India.

This Assembly calls upon the lawmakers of the United Kingdom to raise their forceful voice, for bringing to an end to the cycles of violence in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. A resolution to this effect should be adopted in the House of Parliament so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir suffering from the hazards of organized oppression and ongoing conflict have a UN-supervised vote for their right of self-determination. The road map for such a solution has already been set by the UK parliament when it allowed the people of Scotland to vote for their political destiny.

The Assembly would like the UK parliament to support, the UN calls to the Indian government to repeal such oppressive laws as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), which grant Indian military forces immunity from prosecution for human rights violations.

The Assembly would like the UK per parliament support calls for all the fundamental freedoms listed in UN Resolution of 21 April 1948 to be guaranteed.

The Assembly takes a serious note and condemns the decision of the Government of India to ban Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir (Indian occupied Kashmir) and JKLF for five years. The ban is a violation of the rights guaranteed under UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948.

This Assembly resolves that only a constructive dialogue involving all parties, Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis is essential to solving this seven-decade-long dispute. A significant Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani population coexist peacefully in the UK.

We welcome the UN High Commissioner’s report and the report of the All Parties Parliamentary Group and urge the Commonwealth and Foreign Office to take serious notice of these reports.

We support the request of the UN Human Rights Commissioner to send a fact-finding mission to assess the situation.

This Assembly wishes to express its deep gratitude and wishes to thank all well-wishers who are on the right side of the people of Kashmir and support the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

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While this meaningful conference coming to an end, an important message has been highlighted once more by His Excellency President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan: ‘As first time in the history two nuclear powers bombed or attacked one another and this matter threatens world peace. While the peace attempts being led by the world powers, all the contries indeed need to sort this issue out. We need to have peace!’

 

Eventually, hearing this meaningful message made me fulfilled with a great deal of hope about new beginnings with regards to peace, freedom, solidarity, and humanity.

‘What a wonderful leader!’ I’ve thought.

 

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