Sunday, 22 February 2015

Our tax money should also be spent in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

Our tax money should also be spent in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.
Watford, England             22 February 2015

Kashmiri community leaders from Watford, England met their local Member of Parliament Richard Harrington and discussed various issues related to Kashmir dispute.

While briefing Kashmir National Party senior leaders in a meeting held in London office, Abbas Butt, Chairman of KNP said: ‘We told the MP that we are British Kashmiris and we make a positive contribution to the British society culturally and economically. We pay tax to the British government and the British government provide aid to Pakistan for economic and welfare programmes.

Abbas Butt said we told the MP that, ‘more than 30% of the aid should be spent on welfare and development programmes in so called Azad Kashmir; and Pakistan can spend the remaining 70% on projects inside Pakistan.’

MP was further told that, ‘British aid to Pakistan and India should be linked with their performance on human rights. It will be sad if tax money of around 1 million British Kashmiris, mainly from Pakistani Administered Kashmir was to be used to crush our movement for fundamental rights in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Occupied Kashmir.’

Abbas Butt briefed the KNP meeting that we told Richard Harrington MP that the UNCIP Resolution of 13 August 1948 provided us three options, namely a right to join India or Pakistan, and to become an independent country. It is sad that Pakistani government opposed this; and on Pakistan’s request our right of self determination was limited to right of accession either to India or Pakistan.

Issue of Maqbool Butt’s mortal remains was also discussed; and it was pointed out that his family has a right to file a petition in High Court. It was strange that even after 31 years, despite politicising the issue of remains why obvious legal course of action was not taken. Once the legal course is exhausted then people of Jammu and Kashmir can consider other strategies.

Richard Harington assured his constituents who belonged to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir that he will raise this issue with the relevant department and report back to them.

Watford Member of Parliament further said that, ‘As a Member of Parliament for Watford, I have an obligation to speak for your rights; and where appropriate, protect interests of all his constituents. If your families and relatives are harassed and intimidated then I can raise this issue; however, it will be inappropriate for me to raise issues regarding Indian Administered Kashmir brought up by you based on social media or newspapers.’

Richard Harrington further said in many cases, ‘We Members of Parliament are better informed and have better access to information. We know what is happening and which government is responsible for what.’

KNP leaders, Dr Shabir Choudhry, Asim Mirza and Sarwar Hussain expressed their satisfaction with the meeting with Richard Harrington MP; and emphasised that we should work out a strategy to reach out to more MPs and diplomatic missions in Britain.

The KNP leaders also discussed issues related to JKNIA public meeting regarding Maqbool Butt in Leeds and what transpired there. After a detailed discussion a strategy was worked out to deal with issues related to this alliance.

The KNP meeting also discussed about KNP visit to Geneva and agreed that the KNP delegation should go to Geneva to take part in the UN Human Rights Session in March.

It was also agreed that KNP as a constituent part of Jammu Kashmir International People’s Alliance should take active part in the forthcoming Conference on terrorism in Geneva.

Issued by Dr Shabir Choudhry on behalf of Kashmir National Party

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