Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Civil society speaks against National Action Plan in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan

Civil society speaks against National Action Plan in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan
London     17 November 2015

Kashmir National Party arranged a seminar in Luton, England. Title of the seminar was: ‘National Action Plan and human rights abuses in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan - a response of civil society’.

Since the launch of National Action Plan, people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are facing the wrath of the authorities. The objective of the seminar was to discuss and analyse the situation in these two regions and formulate an appropriate response to expose the negative impact of the National Action Plan.

The following people addressed the seminar: Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmir, Chairman UKPNP; Fazal Zia, former Deputy Mayor Luton Council; Tanveer Zaman Khan, a Pakistani journalist and a political activist; Professor Rafiq Bhatti, writer, poet and a Political activist; Nawaz Majeed, Chief Patron of Overseas Kashmiri Journalists Forum; Professor Ejaz Pracha, President Friends of Jammu and Kashmir; Sarwar Hussain, President KNP Britain; Laiq Ali, JKLF Amanullah Khan Group; JKLF Sardar Saghirs Group; Abbas Butt, Chairman Kashmir National Party and Dr Shabir Choudhry, Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.

The seminar in its concluding session unanimously passed the following resolutions:
Resolutions passed in a seminar on National Action Plan and rights abuses in AJK and GB on 17 November 2015.
People of former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir face injustice, inequality on both sides of the divide. Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan also face political, economic and social injustice and oppression.

However, since the launch of National Action Plan, the people of these two regions are facing the wrath of the authorities. This seminar which was attended by leaders representing different political parties and members of the civil society formulated its response and:

1.    Affirm that the former State of Jammu and Kashmir is not part of India or Pakistan; and that the divided State should become united and independent.

2.    Assert that the National Action Plan of Pakistan was related to Pakistan; and it should not have been extended to the regions of Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir;

3.    Express serious concern about growing intolerance and curbing of political and economic rights in Pakistani Administered Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan;

4.    Recognise that terrorism in Pakistan should be combated and rooted out by stiff action, in accordance with the Pakistani laws;

5.    Declare that we are not against the State of Pakistan or against the State of India; however, we have right to differ and oppose policies of both countries which are related to Jammu and Kashmir. We strongly oppose violence, religious intolerance and terrorism in any form or shape; and promote our struggle peacefully. This right is granted to us by the UN Resolutions on Kashmir, the UN Charter and the constitution of Pakistan.

6.    Acknowledge that the Kashmiri struggle should be peaceful; and when our struggle is peaceful, the authorities have no right to oppress and intimidate our leaders and political activists.

7.    Note with regret that despite being peaceful our leaders and political workers in Azad Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan are systematically targeted and harassed under the cover of National Action Plan.

8.    Regret to note that the authorities are targeting political workers with nationalist views by confiscating books that promote united and independent Jammu and Kashmir and by sealing shops. It is also sadly noted that authorities are systematically targeting economic interests of some political activists, and are implicating some political activists in fraudulent cases like smuggling and sedition;

9.    Emphasis that banning of books and maps and sacking of employees to punish them could be counterproductive and may generate serious resentment against the authorities;

10. Demand that all intimidation of all political workers must stop and those who are falsely charged and imprisoned should be released without any delay.

Issued by Dr Shabir Choudhry
Mobile: 0044 (0)7790942471


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