Kashmiri delegation meets British MP, discusses PoK human rights issues  


The delegates briefed MP Andrew McDonald about the restrictions on freedom of expression, press media, and publications in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan…reports Asian Lite News

A high-level delegation of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) has met with British Labour Member of British Parliament Andrew McDonald at Middlesbrough in the United Kingdom and discussed several pressing issues concerning human rights, lack of basic facilities, land grabbing, occupying tourists resorts, hilltops and lack of infrastructure in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan.

The members also highlighted the discriminatory practices that prevent Kashmiris from participating in elections unless they pledge allegiance to Pakistan. The UKPNP delegation that met the British MP McDonald on Monday was led by party’s chairman Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri. The delegation included Central Spokesman Sardar Nasir Aziz Khan, Senior Leader Mahmood Kashmiri, President of UK Europe Zone Sardar Amjad Yousaf, Secretary General United Kingdom Zone Raja Sarfraz,  Secretary of Information Sardar Tikka Khan Tahir, Rizwan Siddique, Usman Khan and others.

The delegates briefed MP Andrew McDonald about the restrictions on freedom of expression, press media, and publications in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan. They also expressed concern over the resurgence of extremist and radical groups recruiting youth for jihadi activities, leading to the forced disappearance of 22 young boys by a banned outfit, which has prompted protests from their parents and loved ones seeking their recovery, as per an official release.

The delegation shed light on the plight of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, which are administered by Pakistan and suffer from deprivation and underdevelopment. Protests have been ongoing against shortages of flour, wheat, essential food items, inflation, electricity, and hefty charges in electricity bills.

The UKPNP members also highlighted the exploitation of natural resources, denial of royalty, lack of industry and job opportunities, and the persecution of human rights activists and pro-Kashmir, pro-people, and pro-peace activists, who are often forced to leave their native places and seek refuge abroad.

According to the release, the meeting served as an opportunity for the UKPNP delegation to advocate for the rights and well-being of the people in the region and draw attention to the urgent need for international support and attention to these critical issues.

The concerns raised by Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri regarding the environment and land grabbing in PoK, as well as the impact of CPEC and other mega projects on climate and weather, are serious issues that require urgent attention. It’s crucial for the international community to come together to address these challenges and protect the lives, wildlife, and environment in the region. Collaboration and action are essential to safeguard the affected areas and mitigate the devastating effects of such activities, according to the official release.

The Labor Member Parliament Andrew McDonald assured the delegates that the people of PoK, Gilgit Baltistan should be entitled to live their lives with peace and harmony, emphasizing that without the rule of law, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement, the region cannot achieve lasting peace and stability, as per the release.

Sardar Shaukat and the delegates thanked the British member of parliament for giving the time and this opportunity to share their views. (ANI)

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