Coming down heavily on Pakistan for peddling false narrative against Kashmir, members of the European Parliament on Monday stated that the country has become a safe haven for breeding terror outfits on its soil who threaten the peace and stability in the region.
Parliamentarians Gianna Gancia and Fulvio Martusciello said that instead of focusing on development, Pakistan has been notoriously known as a safe haven for terror outfits to breed freely, including several anti-social elements that threaten the day to day lives of the local Kashmiris.
The discussion in this regard took place at an event titled ‘Jammu and Kashmir: Sifting facts from fiction’ held at Geneva Press Club on the sidelines of the ongoing 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The discussion also focused on Pakistan’s interference in Jammu and Kashmir amid the country’s deteriorating human rights record.
Other than the members of the European Parliament, the panel saw a participation of experts and media persons, including Syed Tehmeena from The True Voice of Kashmir; Executive Director of South Asia Democratic Forum Paulo Casaca, former member of the European Parliament Nathan Gill, expert on South Asia from European Commission, Brian Toll, president of Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party (JKNAP) Sajjad Raja, President of Gilgit Pakistan Studies, Senge Sering and journalist Atika Farooqui.
Sering stressed that the abrogation of Article 370 – legislation that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir — has infused a new lease of life to the region. However, with the fake propaganda, Pakistan is trying to undermine the emancipation process of the region, he stressed.
Drawing attention to the misinformed campaign held by the Pakistan establishment on Kashmir, Casaca noted, “Fake propaganda was projected by the country (Pakistan) but fiction should be separated from reality.”
“Jammu and Kashmir chose to become a part of India and Pakistan illegally invaded it,” Gill reiterated similar sentiments.
Based on his experience in Kashmir, the Parliamentarian said that Kashmiris do not want a special status; instead their only desire was to become a part of India. However, Pakistan conducted huge propaganda on what’s going in Kashmir; Pakistani lobby peddled fake news on Jammu and Kashmir’s situation at the European Parliament.
“My state, paradise on the earth, lost against a fanatical ideology,” Tehmeena remarked with intense sorrow and anger. Insurgencies and terrorism fuelled by the Pakistan establishment have undermined it, she stated.
During the discussion, Raja also criticised Pakistan’s disruption of peace and stability in Kashmir. “The only way to extricate Kashmir from Pakistan’s exploitation is to support the development and become a partner of India’s GDP,” he noted.
Adding to it, Farooqui further explained how Pakistan had initiated a low-cost proxy war to annex Kashmir and “encouraged jihadi movements to separate Kashmir from India.” “Pakistani army used terrorism, armed terrorist groups, misguided youth,” she added.