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EU report angers Pakistan

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 14:50 IST
Arun Joshi
Highlight Story

Islamabad has reacted with a world-wide campaign against the findings of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee draft report on Kashmir.

The  draft report on” Kashmir: present situation and future prospects”  drafted by  Emma Nicholson, an MEP, has shown howthe people were suffering in Pakistan controlled Kashmir .

Emma Nicholson compiled the report after meeting various sections of people on both sides of the political divide in Jammu and Kashmir. The report has made certain critical observations about “ Azad Jammu and Kashmir or AJK) as Pakistan fondly calls its part of Kashmir, especially in the aftermath of the  October 8, 2005 earthquake that killed nearly 90,000 people and  rendered three million others  homeless.

It has raised  questions about the democratic credentials of Pakistani government, and its commitment to the people and institutions in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. There is a clear  statement that the idea of plebiscite  was  outdated and that Pakistan .

It  has regretted that the quake has made “everyday life virtually impossible for millions of people who were already among some of the most disadvantaged in the region.”

The draft report has noticed the difference in response of Pakistani and Indian governments to the quake. It credited India for its prompt response to the natural disaster and applauded its “ competence with which the emergency was addressed by the government, the local population and the army; “ and noted that,” as a result, of the 30,000 who lost their homes, all now have housing due in large measure to an intelligent self-help policy instituted by the government.”

But it was appalled  the “ the already minimal basic rights enjoyed by Pakistani Kashmiris before the earthquake (i.e. food, water, shelter, sanitation, schools, and barely adequate health-centres) have been decimated, compounding a situation notable for a lack of democracy and the existence of oppressive and unjust laws, especially those applicable to women.”

Noting in the context of massive destruction and enormous seriousness of the humanitarian situation, continuing calls for a plebiscite on the final status of Jammu and Kashmir are wholly out of step with the needs of the local people and thus damaging to their interests; urges those playing 'big power' politics when millions are in basic need to redirect their energies to fighting the corruption that has wrongly diverted the flow of international funding away from the intended recipients.”

Ever since the report was released in November-end last year, Pakistan has been at a vocal unease. It has activated its entire network across the globe, particularly in the European countries to ensure that the report is discarded.

This has been noted by a Kashmiri separatist working in London for years. Shabir Choudhary, Chairman diplomatic committee ofJKLF, and Director Of Kashmir Affairs in his  article  “Emma Nicholson report Europe becomes a battleground”  has underlined the  fact the despite the peace process, Pakistan has not given up its propaganda war against India. “Pakistani strategy it appears had three aims: demonstrate their influence back home and abroad, use pressure tactics to convince and to overload the system with too many amendments that they are not all discussed because of time, and the report is discarded”.

Email Arun Joshi: a_joshi957@rediffmail.com

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