Kashmir in EU Parliament | Editorial
Pakistan is building up nicely to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly at which Prime Minister Imran Khan will raise the Kashmir issue on the 27th of this month, besides holding a one-on-one meeting with world leaders, including President Trump. After Pakistan’s successful diplomatic lobbying at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where 58 countries supported Pakistan’s stance on occupied Kashmir, the longstanding dispute has now reverberated in the European Union Parliament as well — after a gap of 12 years. During a debate on Sept 17, Members of the European Parliament came up with sharp rebuke of the Indian clampdown in occupied Kashmir, and called upon India and Pakistan to engage in direct talks to ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict that has the potential to escalate into a nuclear showdown.
EU Minister Tytti Tuppurainen — speaking on behalf of European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini — described talks as the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue to avoid instability and insecurity in the region, and made it clear that the EU’s position on the longstanding dispute remains unchanged. The minister said the EU would continue to closely monitor the situation, while demanding that freedom of movement and means of communication in the besieged territory should be fully restored as well as access to all essential services. There were other members who were extremely vocal against the illegal Indian action in Kashmir, with some calling for using all possible means to mount pressure on New Delhi to ease the military curfew.
The incumbent government’s efforts to internationalise India’s illegal annexation of Kashmir on August 5 and the barbarism that continues there ever since are commendable. The PM and his team are leaving no stone unturned to keep the issue burning bright.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2019.