Sultan Mehmood to lobby against Nicholsons report
21 January 2007
The Daily Times
Islamabad: Former AJK prime minister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary left for Brussels on Sunday to lobby against Emma Nicholsons report on Kashmir, which is to be discussed in the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament on January 23. I will appeal against this negative report which could damage the Kashmir cause if adopted, he told reporters at his residence before leaving for Brussels on Sunday morning. A 21-member delegation comprising his party leaders and representatives of expatriate Kashmiris living in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and other European countries will also join him in Brussels. Mehmood said that in her report, Nicholson had tried to protect Indian interests and had misinterpreted the right to self-determination granted to the Kashmiris by the UN Security Council. He said that Nicholson had not mentioned the presence of over 800,000 Indian troops in occupied Kashmir who regularly commit human right violations. During the meeting with the members of the Foreign Relations Committee, I will appeal to them to either completely reject Emma Nicholsons report on Kashmir or bring drastic changes to it to make it a fair and just report, he said. He added that voting on the report would take place on January 24, and that European Parliament members had already assured him of their vote against the report, especially James Elles and Sajjad Karim. Responding to a question, he said that there were several proposals for the settlement of the Kashmir issue, but the Kashmiri people would not allow the division of their motherland. He said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions. He also urged the European Union to mediate and help resolve the longstanding issue as it had now entered a decisive phase. The EU is playing a vital role in world politics and it could mediate between India and Pakistan for resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said.