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To express solidarity with the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), and to highlight the egregious human rights violations being committed by India in IIOJK, the Embassy of Pakistan, Rome organized multiple events; including a well-attended webinar with participation from Italian parliamentarians, think tanks and intelligentsia. Prominent speakers at the webinar included Member of Italian Parliament and President of the Parliamentary Commission for Women Rights, Yana Ehm, Professor Manenti from the leading think tank of Italy, CESI (Center for Italian Studies) and Professor Fiori from Asia Institute.

In his opening remarks on the occasion, Ambassador Jauhar Saleem highlighted the impact of the longstanding unresolved dispute issue of Jammu & Kashmir on the prospects of peace and prosperity of South Asia. Ambassador Saleem pointed out that India’s illegal action of 5th August 2019 was a manifestation of the Indian ruling party’s sinister aim to systematically disenfranchise the Kashmiri population, deprive them of their identity and alter the demographics of the disputed territory. He also accentuated that today’s India was characterized by growing ultra-nationalism, racism and bigotry, a reality quite contrary to the secular image it falsely purports before the world. Expressing Pakistan’s solidarity with Kashmiris, the Ambassador stressed that without a peaceful solution to Jammu & Kashmir dispute there could not be durable peace in South Asia.

The Ambassador also touched upon the Afghan conflict, underlining Pakistan’s support for an Afghan owned, Afghan led and Afghan determined solution. He noted that Pakistan viewed a peaceful Afghanistan as a sine qua non for regional prosperity and connectivity.

The other panelists underlined the need to resolve the outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India through a peaceful dialogue to enable South Asia to achieve its full potential. They felt that the West had a double standard when it came to human rights violations in IIOJK, given India’s political and economic clout. On Afghanistan they underscored the need to protect the gains made in the area of protection of human rights in general and gender rights in particular.

The Embassy also organized a commemorative meeting with the prominent members of Pakistani and Kashmiri Diaspora in Italy. In his address Ambassador Jauhar Saleem gave a detailed overview of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute with special reference to the situation obtaining in IIOJK in the wake of India’s illegal action of 5th August 2019. He also appreciated the commitment and devotion shown by the Pakistani diaspora in Italy towards highlighting Jammu & Kashmir dispute and the unabashed violations of human rights in IIOJK.

The Ambassador urged the community leaders to redouble their efforts for promoting the Kashmir cause in terms of the struggle for the right of self-determination.

Prominent leaders and activists of the Kashmir cause from all across Italy, in their speeches on the occasion, expressed their sentiments over the long-standing dispute which had caused so much suffering to the Kashmiris. They promised to steadfastly support their righteous struggle for the right of self-determination.

A number of protests by the Pakistan community took place on the day, and many more are planned across Italy in the coming days.

 

Rome

5th August 2021

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