Dr Nazir Gilani reminds UK of past to reset its compass on Kashmir

London, February 24 : The President of London-based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights, Dr Syed Nazir Gilani, has expressed the hope that like the new Biden administration in the US, Britain will also reset its compass on the question of its obligations for the promotion and protection of human rights in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Dr Nazir Gilani in a letter addressed to Dominic Raab, UK Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs further hoped that the UK would live up to its statement that the country would continue to speak up in UN Human Rights Council for what was right, and would continue to back up our words with actions.

Referring to the UK’s historical link with the Kashmir dispute, he expressed his desire that Jammu and Kashmir would merit the country’s urgent interest and favourable consideration and instructions would be issued accordingly to the UK member on the Human Rights Council.

“We were pleased to note from your statement that the UK places the promotion and protection of human rights at the very top of its list of international priorities, and would continue to uphold and defend the international rule of law, and the rights and freedoms of people right around the world,” Dr Gilani said.

He further said, “Kashmiri Diaspora living in the UK and Northern Ireland, in other parts of the world, the three administrations of Jammu and Kashmir…and the 2.5 million Kashmiri refugees living in various provinces of Pakistan …listened to your statement made at the High-Level Segment – 2nd Meeting, 46th Regular Session Human Rights Council on 22 February 2021.”

However, he deplored the absence of a reference to the situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the UK statement along with a reference to seven countries – Myanmar, Belarus, Russia, China, Syria, South Sudan and Sri Lanka. He reminded the British deputy Prime Minister that it was the UK which first inscribed her interest to take the Kashmir Case to International Court Justice in November 1947, pressed to hold the Plebiscite before the fall of snow in October 1948, has said on 17 April 1948 that Jammu and Kashmir is ‘The greatest and gravest single issue in international affairs’ and has said at the 606 meeting of the UN Security Council on 6 November 1952 that ‘The ultimate objective of a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations ….has been written into solemn agreements by the two Governments [Pakistan and India] and endorsed by this Security Council. These agreements have been affirmed and reaffirmed by the two governments many times’, he said. Having referred to the history, Dr Gilani asked how could the same Britain skip the human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, as logged in the two OHCHR reports.

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