AJK Assembly connects with British Parliament

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

It is encouraging and the beginning of a good parliamentary practice that Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA and Convenor All Parties Kashmir Coordination Council, introduced a Resolution in the AJK Assembly and highlighted the importance of diplomatic work being done by the institutions headed by Kashmiri Diaspora in the United Kingdom. It is for the first time that a parliamentarian has taken a step to connect AJK Assembly with Kashmiri Diaspora and the British Parliament. Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA is a household name on both sides of the cease fire line and highly respected by Kashmiris living in the United Kingdom for his sense of duty, equity and his unique style of presenting the Kashmir case. He believes in inclusiveness and that makes him a lead ambassador of Kashmir case.

The resolution passed on the work done by Tehreek E Kashmir UK headed by Fahim Kayani and in particular on the “Kashmir Youth and Women Conference” organised by Tehreek E Kashmir UK on 24th April in the British House of Commons, needs appreciation of us all. The Resolution should have transported the members of the Legislative Assembly, at no cost, to the proceeding of the Conference.

One is touched by the sense of duty and sense of fairness shown in the Resolution. Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA has graciously acknowledged the hard work done by Fahim Kayani President Tehreek E Kashmir UK and Muhammad Ghalib President Tehreek-E-Kashmir Europe in organizing the Conference. One would say that Fahim Kayani President Tehreek E Kashmir UK, keeps a plus in his favour in seeing through a successful debate at the House of Commons.

The Conference was addressed by President of Azad Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA, Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, President JKCHR and culminated in adopting a comprehensive Resolution on the Right of Self Determination of the People of the People of Jammu and Kashmir.

The AJK Assembly Resolution has set a very important precedent of acknowledging the work being done in European Parliament and British Parliament. At the same time it has introduced international input into the proceedings of the Assembly. Good work and services of the people like Wajid Khan MEP, Afzal Khan MP, MPs, Lord Qurban Hussain, Councillors, Scholars, Religious leaders, Youth and Students, Diaspora and all others have been duly acknowledged in the Resolution.

It was a well-attended and impressive Conference on “Youth and Women”. Fahim Kayani had worked hard to attract women and the youth studying in various colleges and universities in the UK. The youth presence from the Indian administered Kashmir was very impressive and we heard some very direct and original testimonies and opinions. The Conference was attended by leaders of Sikh Community as well. One could not miss a turban wearing young Sikh – Jaspreet Singh – from Birmingham City University and Ex Union President BCU.

Other speakers who addressed the Conference were, Imran Hussain MP, Kate Hollern MP, Baroness Sheehan, Tracy Brabin MP, James Frith MP, Naz Shah MP, Faisal Rashid MP, Yasmeen Qureshi MP, John Speller MP, Muhammad Ghalib President Tehreek E Kashmir Europe, Muzzammil Ayyub Thakur Director The Justice Foundation, Kathryn Irrgand 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, Sehrish Lone Edge Hill University, Aliza Ayaz, University College London, Danyal Khan University of London, Zubeda Begum HR activist, Student Union Leaders of various UK Universities, and representatives of various women and youth forums were Guest Speakers.

The Conference adopted the following resolution, 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.

Tehreek E Kashmir UK continues to make serious and highly commendable contributions, in highlighting the Rights Movement of the People of Kashmir. Fahim Kayani – President Tehreek E Kashmir UK deserves the acknowledgement carried in the Resolution moved by Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA in the Legislative Assembly of Azad Kashmir. Hats off to Turabi sahib for connecting AJK Assembly with Kashmiri Diaspora and the British Parliament. He has skilfully transported other members of the assembly, to share the merits of the Conference proceedings in the House of Commons. Abdur Rashid Turabi MLA made a brilliant contribution in English and we all felt honoured and educated. He is undoubtedly a distinguished son of the State and a skilful ambassador of Kashmir case.

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