Mr. Lars Rise, a former Norwegian lawmaker and Founding Chairman of Norwegian Parliamentary Kashmir Committee and European Parliament member Eija-Riitta Korhola were the guest speakers at the function held in the state of Virginia which was attended by a large number of Kashmiri leaders and people from all walks of life.
Ms. Korhola, a lawmaker from Finland who has served the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament during her 15-stint, said what happening in Kashmir was not just accidental violation of human rights but part of an “institutionalized policy” of the Indian government.
India continued to “legitimize” its presence in Kashmir in disregard to the fact that Kashmir issue was a pending question among the United Nation’s resolution, Ms Korhola said and reminded New Delhi that It should not forget this fact.
“Kashmir is not forgotten. We are not going to let it happen.As humankind, We can not afford ignoring basic rights of self-determination,” Ms Korhola added.
At the same, she said, India wanted to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council adding “If India does not respect a resolution which was adopted almost 70 years ago, how can India expect to become a permanent member.”
“My message is simple. We need to get all sides talking to each other with full respect,” she said and added that human rights were a world problem and not an internal matter.
“The self-determination of the people of Kashmir and international peace and security are inter-related.”
She said that the issue had brought both Pakistan and India to the brink of nuclear catastrophe adding the two countries needed to resolve the dispute in accordance to will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The final and durable settlement of the Kashmir dispute will undoubtedly guarantee peace and stability in the region of South Asia”.
Mr. Rise from Norway, in his remarks, stressed that third party mediation was the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue as bilateral talks between Pakistan and India had failed to address the lingering dispute.
He also underlined that without the participation of Kashmiri leadership, no resolution would work.
The Norwegian lawmaker strongly opposed India’s bit to seek a permanent member seat on the UN Security Council.
He also condemned the serious human right violations by India in occupied Kashmir where more than 700,000 Indian armed forces were engaged in atrocities on the Kashmiri people.
Mr. Rise paid tributes to Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the US-based group, World Kashmir Awareness, for his more than 35 years of selfless struggle for Kashmir people.
Dr. Fai relayed the message of Syed Ali Geelani, the Kashmiri leader from the Indian-held Kashmir, that four-point proposal presented by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before the UN General Assembly in September must be propagated with full force.
“Kashmiris are not against bilateral talks but the past fifty years testify to the fact that bilateral talks are failed miserably. In fact no talks would be successful without Kashmiris’ participation,” he added.
Dr. Imtiaz president Kashmir American Council who recently came back from occupied valley mentioned the atrocities being committed every day by the Indian army.
Kashmiri leaders Ali Shah Nawaz from Norway, Kashmir Foundation USA’s President Javed Rathore from Chicago, Zareef Khan and Sardar Zubair Khan also addressed the gathering.
At the end of the program hundreds of participants of the conference made a human chain to show solidarity with the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir. People from several adjoining states also attended the meeting.