Brussels, January 27 : After Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s relentless global campaign against India over the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, the European Union (EU) Parliament has decided to debate and vote on a scathing resolution against the forcible annexation of occupied Kashmir in clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Out of 751 members of the EU Parliament, 626 have moved six resolutions on both the issues. The diplomatic offensive by the EU against India comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels for the India-EU summit in March.
The resolution also condemns enforcement of new citizenship laws by New Delhi that discriminate against Muslims. The resolutions, drafted and supported by lawmakers from the Renew Group, calls on the European Union and its member states “to promote the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir”.
Condemning the “unilateral changes made to the status of Kashmir by India”, the draft resolution noted that India has never implemented the UNSC resolutions requiring a referendum to allow all Kashmiris to determine the future status of Kashmir. It also viewed with concern the rise in tensions between Pakistan and India – “both being nuclear weapons states” – which it said were “fuelled by the controversial decisions of the government of India on Kashmir and citizenship”.
Urging India to repeal the “discriminatory amendments” to its citizenship law, the draft resolution says the new law “violates India’s international obligations to prevent the deprivation of citizenship on the basis of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as enshrined in human rights treaties.”
The resolution urges the government of India “to immediately engage in peaceful dialogue with various sections of the population” and “to ensure that security forces comply with the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials”.
The resolution also mentions the violence that ensued at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Dehli earlier this month, referring to the university as “a leading location for students protesting against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC)” and where “police witnessed the attack but refused to control and arrest the mob”.
“According to the Indian Constitution, India is a sovereign secular democratic republic and including religion as a criterion for citizenship is therefore fundamentally unconstitutional,” reads the resolution, which will be debated in the parliament on January 29, according to the plenary schedule available on the EU Parliament’s website.
The resolution, which will be put up for voting on January 30, says the CAA “sets a dangerous precedent and represents an intensification of the [Indian] Government’s Hindu nationalist agenda”, adding that “it is difficult to view the CAA in isolation, as both the amendments and the NRC could deprive minorities of their citizenship of India” while “only Muslims excluded from the NRC will have difficulty winning their cases at foreign tribunals”.
The resolution makes a reference to the Charter of the United Nations, Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as well as the India-EU Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan signed in November 2005, and to the EU-India Thematic Dialogue on Human Rights as it urges the Indian authorities to engage constructively with those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and consider their demands to repeal the discriminatory CAA.
“The CAA marks a dangerous shift in the way citizenship will be determined in India and is set to create the largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause immense human suffering,” it notes.
It seeks to remind the Indian government of its obligations under the 1992 UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, which establishes the obligation of countries to protect the existence and identity of religious minorities within their territories and to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that this is achieved.
If it is passed next week, it will be formally sent to the Indian government and Parliament as well as to the European Commission chiefs.