Permit rights bodies to visit J&K, PoK, demand Kashmiri outfits

21 Nov 2017


A conference on the future of Jammu and Kashmir convened by a UK-based organisation of valley Kashmiris has demanded that international human rights groups be allowed to visit Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as well as the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

The conference by Kashmir Voice International (KVI), held in Luton over the weekend, was attended by representatives of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Awami National Party, Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Movement, Kashmir National Party and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation League.

A KVI statement listed resolutions passed at the event, including the demand to dissolve the Kashmir affairs ministry in Pakistan and its replacement by a development council. Interference by the federal government was affecting the administration there, it said, according to a Hindustan Times report.

''The people of Kashmir continue to suffer unabated killings, atrocities and indignities. The conference urges all the human rights violations in Kashmir Valley should be given a stop to and perpetrators be brought to justice,'' one of 10 resolutions said.

''The human rights violations in Pakistan held Kashmir should also come to an end. International human rights organisations should be allowed to visit the both sides of the state,'' it said.

KVI said the conference wanted the Line of Control to be made ''very soft'' to enable Kashmiris from both sides to move freely. It also wanted the Interim Constitution Act 1974 in PoK to be abolished and replaced with a full-fledged constitution.

''For this purpose an elected constituent assembly should be convened in Muzaffarabad,'' it said.

Other resolutions included a demand to lift ''draconian'' laws, release of political prisoners, removal of army bunkers, and meeting the genuine demands of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Of course none of these demands has much chance of being met, Pakistan being as tetchy about PoK as India is about J&K.

The KVI statement said a five-member committee was formed to consult various alliances in Kashmir, parties and groups in the United Kingdom to frame a ''common minimum program'' to be pursued together.

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