Kashmir – Champions of Peace Exhibition at European Parliament
July 14, 2019 (PPI-OT): An outstanding exhibition entitled “Kashmir: Champions
of Peace” was organised at the European Parliament (EP) hosted by MEP Klaus
Buchner, MEP Julie Ward and MEP Phil Bennion in association with Organisation
of Kashmir Coalition (OKC). The Guest of Honour, at the exhibition, was Senator
Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Pakistan Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Klaus Buchner, in his opening speech, at the inauguration of the Exhibition,
highlighted the peaceful struggle by the Kashmiris and their leaders who have
given everything in their cause to see the people of Kashmir are given their
right to self-determination.
emphasised that it is high time for the international community to take the
Kashmir issue seriously and help resolve it peacefully. He assured the people
of Kashmir that he, together with his MEP colleagues, would raise the profile
of Kashmir within the EP to achieve the resolution of the Kashmir conflict
leading to peace and security in the region.
Mushahid Hussain Syed, in his inaugural speech at the exhibition, provided
concise analysis of the contemporary regional and international politics making
it all the more crucial to have the long pending Kashmir issue resolved in
accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. He lamented the Indian
government’s acrimonious and stubborn position to refrain from engaging with
Kashmiris and Pakistan to help seek peaceful resolution. Senator Syed
contrasted the changing international attitudes towards North Korea and Afghanistan
Taliban while seeking world peace and hoped that the same ethos is applied to
Kashmir. Referring to Pakistan’s resolve and resilience to combat terrorism, he
expressed hope that people of Kashmir would achieve their right to
Ward, underscored the importance of holding such exhibition at the crucial
juncture of the induction of newly elected members of the European Parliament
to help raise awareness of the Kashmiris struggle for right to
self-determination. She described the Exhibition as ‘outstanding’, that would
not only help create awareness but would also call for the active engagement at
policy making levels within the EP and other organs of the European Union. MEP
Ward recalled her visits to Kashmir where she met with victims of brutalities,
rape and gang-rape victims, and youth shot with pellet guns.
reiterated on the need for meaningful dialogue for peaceful settlement of the
conflict. MEP Phil Bennion, in his passionate speech, recalled his continuous
support for the Kashmir cause. He expressed anguish at the Indian government’s
oppressive stance and continuing violation of fundamental freedoms and human
rights. MEP Bennion declared – “Let’s talk about Kashmir! Let’s get Pakistan
and India to talk, let’s find a solution! We must start the dialogue which
should bring peace to the region.”
Bernhard Zimnoick, in his address expressed his grief and sorrow for the people
of Kashmir who have so far been denied their right to self-determination. He
shared his experience of seeing and knowing the people of Kashmir from so
closely hence direct knowledge of the Kashmir cause during his engagement in
the foreign service in Pakistan and India. He expressed his belief that in the
changing regional, politico-economic environment, Kashmiris would see the
resolution in their favour very soon.
Majid applauded the Kashmiris struggle for right to self-determination in the
most adverse situation. He assured his active support to help resolve the
dispute peacefully. MEP Majid saw the Exhibition as a serious effort to impress
upon the EP to do something substantial to resolve the Kashmir conflict.
Nazir A Shawl expressed the hope that the Exhibition will rejuvenate the newly
elected members of the EP to take the Kashmir case in the similar spirit and
the direction as happened during the years 2003 to 2013. “Kashmiris have seen
unprecedented surge in their human rights abuses including the introduction of
pellet shot gun that has blinded, maimed and killed Kashmiri youth during 2014
and 2019 but regrettably during this period no strong voice emerged from the
EP.” He hoped that the newly elected MEPs shall take the Kashmir situation,
bearing in mind that it is a nuclear flash point, much more seriously.
Mehmood Khan, in his brief contribution insisted on the newly elected
legislature to ensure that the current onslaught of the Indian armed forces on
Kashmiris is stopped and that the Indian government is held accountable for all
the gross human rights violations there.
Shazia Aslam appealed to the world community to listen to the Kashmiris call
for right to self-determination and to end their sufferings. Mrs Shamim Shawl
in her address sought continuing support of the institutions such as the EP and
public to help to resolve the Kashmir issues peacefully.
Awan stressed the need to carry forward the peaceful struggle of the Champions
of Peace and senior Kashmiri leadership until Kashmir sees its exercise of
right to self-determination. Frank Schwalba-Hoth, who moderated the inaugural
session applauded the efforts by the Kashmiri leadership in the diaspora led by
Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo. He expressed his high expectation that the EP
would continue its support to the Kashmir just cause until the Kashmiris are
given their rightful justice.
Tramboo focused his discussion on the significance of the Exhibition declaring
that Kashmiris within Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), Azad Jammu Kashmir and in the
diaspora are Champions of Peace. “Nevertheless the Champions of Peace is
dedicated to the Kashmiris struggling and suffering within IHK and all of us
salute them for their resilience towards their just cause in peaceful
engagement”, he added. Barrister Tramboo described the each exhibited panel in
the following terms:
panel on “SELF-DETERMINATION” is dedicated to the people of Kashmir for their
promised plebiscite under the UN Resolutions!
panel on “Incredible Tragedy of Konan Poshpora” is dedicated to peaceful women
who were brutally ravaged by the Indian para-military forces!
panel on “Asifa Innocence Ravaged” dedicated to little angle of peace, who was
ganged raped and murdered by Hindu fundamentalists including a Hindu police
panel on “Disappeared and Unnamed Mass Graves” dedicated to disappeared and
buried Champions of Peace!
panel on “Use of Pellet Firing Shot Guns” is dedicated to losing sight victims
-Champions of Peace!
panel on “Brutality Against Journalists” is dedicated to those journalists who
were killed while reporting on freedom struggle of Kashmiris – Reporters of
panel on “Repulsive Demographic Change” is dedicated to all those Champions of
Peace resisting the population change in Kashmir!
panel on “Fallen Legends of Peace” is dedicated to those Legends of Peace who
have given their lives for Kashmiris peace and security – Mirwaiz Maulvi
Farooq, Dr Ayub Thakur, Abul Ghani Lone, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Aasia Jeelani,
Jalil Andrabi, Prof Farooq Ashai, Prof Abdul Ahad Wani and many more!
panel on “Indian Legal Framework-Black Laws” is dedicated to all Kashmiris who
are nailed under these black laws, indeed all of them are Champions of Peace!
panel on “The United Nations Report Calls for International Inquiry into
Multiple Gross Human Rights Violations in Indian Held Kashmir” is dedicated to
millions of Kashmiri Champions of Peace who have been robbed of their very
basic human rights!
Tramboo, looking at the MEPs, confidently remarked that the present
legislature, with the support and co-operation of all the interested MEPs,
shall engage in meaningful work with all the relevant committees (including
Foreign Affairs Committee and the Sub-committee on Human Rights) on Kashmir. He
expressed, for and on behalf of all Kashmiris, his sincere gratitude to all the
interested MEPs for their continued support in particular in the upcoming days.
Barrister Tramboo’s request, all the MEPs, the guest of honour and all other
dignitaries viewed the Exhibition and took keen interest in exploring the
“CHAMPIONS OF PEACE”.
crowd including journalists, jurists, human rights activists, analysts,
staffers, political advisers, MEPs assistants, other MEPs (including MEP Monica
Silvana Gonzalez and MEP Morten Petersen) and the Kashmiri diaspora visited the
“CHAMPIONS OF PEACE”.