Lebanon Embassy Posts|

The Embassy of Pakistan, Beirut organized a seminar entitled “Kashmir – A Flash Point in South Asia: Solidarity with the People of Kashmir” to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day (05 February). The seminar was addressed by Dr. Michele Guillaume-Hofnung, Vice-Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the French National Commission for UNESCO, Prof. Walid Arabid, Professor of History and International Relations at the Lebanese University and Dr. Marie Line Karam, Professor of law and political science at the Lebanese American University. During the seminar, a documentary highlighting the brutalities of the Indian occupying forces against the innocent Kashmiris was also screened. A number of academicians, media persons, members of diplomatic corps, and prominent Pakistanis living in Lebanon attended the seminar.

Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokher, in his opening remarks, gave a brief historical background of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. He emphasized that Kashmir dispute was as old as the Palestinian dispute. The UN Security Council had adopted several resolutions asking for holding of a free, fair and impartial plebiscite to resolve the dispute. However, instead of holding the plebiscite, to which it agreed in the Security Council, India resorted to the military subjugation of the Jammu & Kashmir and has deployed more than 700,000 security forces personnel there.

Ambassador Khokher also shed light on the valiant struggle of the innocent Kashmiri people especially after the martyrdom of young Kashmiri leader Muzaffar Wani in July 2016. He spoke about the worst human rights violations being committed in Kashmir by the Indian security forces. He stressed that it was the responsibility of the international community to take notice of the reign of terror let loose in Kashmir by Indian forces and to support the Kashmiri peoples’ unalienable right to self-determination, as promised to them by the UN Security Council seventy years ago. He reiterated that people and Government of Pakistan were committed to extend unequivocal support to the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Dr. Marie Line Karam highlighted various dimensions of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. Stating that the issue had been outstanding for seven decades, she traced possible factors behind it not being resolved. She urged that the UN must fulfill its responsibility for the implementation of its resolutions.

Dr. Guillaume-Hofnung expose’ revolved around the failure of traditional methods in resolving this conflict. She discussed various dimension of “mediation” as one of the possible methods for resolving the Kashmir dispute. Prof. Walid Arabid likened Kashmir conflict to the Palestinian issue and stressed the importance of finding a solution to the crisis in Kashmir not only by the UN but also by countries that could play the role of mediator between India and Pakistan. He was of the view that the UN structure reflected the balance of power, which cast its shadow on various political issues of our day. He said that it was difficult to suppress the aspirations of a people struggling for their freedom and ready to offer any sacrifice towards realization of their goal.

During the Q&A session, Mr. Jameel Charanek, Economic Consultant, Arab Works Organization for League of Arab States expressed support to the freedom struggle of Kashmiri people. He traced the roots of the issue of occupation of Kashmir to the British awarding to India a piece of territory, part of Pakistan in principle. Professor Lahoud Bassam of the Lebanese American University traced the origins of the Kashmir conflict to the British colonial era and regretted that recent discourse on the Kashmir dispute overlooked to mention this important aspect of the issue.

05 February 2018

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