March 2018 News

All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group Should Represent Sentiments Of People - Dr Shabir Choudhry

3 March 2018

London: A Kashmiri writer and activist based in London, Dr. Shabir Choudhry, has asked the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPG) to listen to the oppressed people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Dr. Choudhry has written a letter to the APPG requesting it to invite him for a hearing to reveal the truth prevailing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The chairman of South Asia Watch, Dr. Choudhry, said, 'When I learnt that APPG, for a change, wanted to investigate human rights abuses on the Pakistani side of the divide, I also wrote a letter to the Chairman of the APPG and requested him to provide me an opportunity to present my case before the group. I gave some details in the letter as to how Pakistani authorities and secret agencies curtailed my fundamental rights.' He wrote in the letter sent to 'I would like to appear before the APPG or have a meeting with you that we can discuss this matter further. Your report cannot be complete without hearing the man who is a British citizen and who among the Kashmiri Diaspora is the prime victim of Pakistani agencies and the state.' All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within UK Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities. The All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPG) which was chaired by Chris Leslie, Member of Parliament, had invited Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) as a witness to the hearing. Sardar Masood, who acts as puppet of Islamabad, did not reveal any truth about PoK and rather blamed India for human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. Dr.Shabir blamed APPG for not inviting him, 'When I leant that President of Pakistani administered Kashmir, was once again, visiting Britain; and he was invited by the APPG, I wrote another letter requesting the APPG Chairman to invite me as well that I can also discuss denial of fundamental rights in Gilgit Baltistan and so called Azad Kashmir. Like last time, he did not care to respond to my letter.' Sardar Masood Khan served Pakistan for many decades as a Pakistani diplomat. Islamabad was pleased with his services, so after his retirement, they rewarded him with another lucrative post. He was appointed President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. 'He is not loyal to people of Jammu and Kashmir; his loyalty is with those who appointed him. His loyalty is apparent in his speech made during his visit to Britain', alleges Dr. Choudhry, who is a noted Kashmiri writer and journalist. He added, 'Respected members of the APPG need to understand that Masood Khan's mission is to advance the agenda of Islamabad. It is crystal clear that he is not interested in the plight of the suffering people. He cannot, and will not speak about fundamental rights of people of Gilgit Baltistan and so called Azad Kashmir.' If the APPG sincerely wants to find out about human rights abuses and problems of the people of Gilgit Baltistan and so called Azad Kashmir, then they need to invite citizens of Jammu and Kashmir who aspire for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. If they want to please certain quarters and satisfy their voters then they are already doing a good job, said Dr. Choudhry.