EU MPs backed Pakistan’s stance on IOK: Qureshi

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says the EU Parliament has pressed Indian to prevent further abuse of human rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir, calling it unacceptable.

Taking to Twitter, Qureshi said that 23 European MPs participated in the meeting and majority acknowledged Pakistan’s stance on the IOK.

“Indian actions pose a threat to regional peace,” Qureshi said.

Speaking in a special debate of the plenary of the European Parliament held at Strasbourg, France on the issue of Kashmir after 12 years, the members also demanded immediate lifting of lockdown, restoration of normalcy, fundamental rights, communication blackout, freedom of movement and release of political prisoners in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

Tytti Tuppurainen, Council of the European Union, reading out a statement on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the situation in Kashmir, said India’s steps on August 5, continued to violate the fundamental human rights in the Occupied Kashmir. India had deployed additional troops in the occupied valley besides, the Line of Control.

She said since then the situation had not returned to normalcy as reports were pouring out about the arrests of political leaders and students.

She stressed upon the European Union to work with Pakistan and India to defuse further escalation and engage both parties for a peaceful settlement of the dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

She said restrictions imposed by Indian on the fundamental rights were of grave concerns to them and the European parliament high representative had already taken up the issue with the Indian external minister in Brussels.

The European Union should demand lifting of the restrictions by restoring basic human rights, restoration of all social services and freedom of movement, Tytti said, adding no one could afford another escalation over occupied Kashmir.

Concluding her statement, she said the EU would continue to monitor the situation and stressed upon the EU to make every effort to avoid escalation in the region.

Traian Basescu, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), categorically termed the situation in IOJ&K as alarming and unacceptable.