Australian parliamentarians recognises Kashmiris right to self-determination

Senators Mehreen Faruqi and Janet Rice have tabled a Notice of Motion in the Senate

BYYasir Rehman
SOURCEPakistan High Commission


Australian Senators have tabled a Notice of Motion in the Senate recognising that Kashmiris have an unequivocal right to self-determination as several Australian parliamentarians expressed deep concerns on grave human rights violations in disputed territory of Indian Held Kashmir.

Former Senator Lee Rhiannon; Mr. David Shoebridge, Member of the Legislative Council in the New South Wales Parliament; Ms. Amy MacMahon, MP; Dr. Claude Rakisits, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan and and High Commissioner for Pakistan Babar Amin highlighted the grave human rights situation in Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir especially in the wake of India’s unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 which were against the UNSC resolutions and international law.

They expressed their views on Youm-e-Istehsal a Seminar/Webinar titled “Kashmir: Right to self-determination and Demographic Engineering in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK)” held at Pakistan High Commission, Canberra on 05 August 2021. ent was attended by high-level parliamentarians, officials and dignitaries of Australian government, diplomats, journalists, scholars, intellectuals, think tanks and members of Pakistani and Kashmiri community.

The Speakers agreed that there was an urgent need for the resolution of Kashmir dispute as per the UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

Highlighting India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan stated that the past two years had been traumatic and tragic for the people of IIOJK. Indian actions were followed by a demographic change in the region.

“People of Kashmir were under a military siege and were facing ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide by Indian Security Forces”, he said calling on Australian leadership to raise the human rights issue with the Indian government.

Amy MacMahon, MP highlighted that the Indian government had used the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to increase militarization of IIOJK. The people of IIOJK were under the Indian military siege. Journalists and human rights activists were being detained and supressed. There was communication blockade and people were being arbitrarily detained in prisons.

She called on the Indian government to respect the human rights of the people of IIOJK and their right for self-determination.

David Shoebridge, MLC highlighted the human rights violations in Kashmir and stressed on the need for resolution of the Kashmir dispute on the principle of right to self-determination.

He expressed concern on the indifference of the international community including Australia, to the plight of the Kashmiris. He, however, added that there was hope as the issue was being raised by international human rights organizations, media groups and parliamentarians around the world.

Claude Rakisits in his remarks stated that the situation in IIOJK was grave due to the continued clampdown in IIOJK. He added that India’s actions of 5 August 2019 were a violation of international laws. Kashmir had become an open-air jail where people were being denied their fundamental rights.

He appreciated the comments of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s in which they called for the resolution of IIOJK issue in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Dr. Rakists further stated that people of Jammu and Kashmir should be allowed to choose their own fate.

Senator Lee Rhiannon in her remarks stated that the struggle of the people of IIOJK was similar to the people of first nations of Australia. She added that 5 August 2019 was an ominous day, however, there was growing global solidarity for the Kashmir movement.

She also highlighted the extremist Hindutva policies of the Indian government which were targeting Muslims and minorities. She added that there was a need by the international community to elevate the truth and build a movement against the apartheid government of India.

High Commissioner Babar Amin in his remarks briefed on India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 and Indian attempts to change the demographic structure of IIOJK.

He informed that Indian actions had been accompanied by communications blockade, internet shutdown, enforced disappearances of minor boys and political activists, custodial and extra-judicial killings, search and cordon operations, use of military ammunition to demolish civilian houses, denial of burial rites, sexual violence against women, pellet gun blinding of peaceful protesters, collective punishments, using civilians as human shields, as well as subjecting Kashmiris to religious cultural, and social apartheid. He stated that Indian human rights violations had been extensively documented by OHCHR reports in 2018 and 2019.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi and Senator Janet Rice have tabled a Notice of Motion in the Senate expressing concerns on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Senator Faruqi said that Indian Government shamefully stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, removing the relative autonomy of the region. This decision further eroded Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and freedom.

“Kashmiris have an unequivocal right to self-determination, as recognised by the UN. I remain deeply committed to seeing the human rights of the people in Kashmir and their right to self-determination respected and have submitted a Notice of Motion to the Senate to express this”, she tweeted.

She stressed that Australian Government must use all diplomatic means at its disposal to urge the Indian Government to reinstate the special status and autonomy of Kashmir. The systemic silencing and oppression of Kashmiris is completely unacceptable and must be stopped.

A photo exhibition on the human rights violations carried out by the Indian Security Forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir was also organised by the High Commission on the occasion.

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