Barcelona: Santi Rodriguez Serra, Secretary General of the Popular Party; Juan Bautista Milian Querol, Spokesman of the Foreign Relations Committee of Catalan Parliament; and Ms. Merce Perea, Member of the National Assembly and Spokesperson of the Socialist Party in Spanish Congress, separately, called on Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, here to receive a briefing on the situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The three Spanish leaders showed keen interest in the human rights situation in the IOK and expressed their dismay over inattention and non-engagement of the international community to address the core issues.
Ms. Perea said that the prevalent situation was indeed tragic and needed attention of the parliamentarians who cared for universal protection of human rights. She said that the atrocities must come to an end and the international community should play effective role in this regard. The Spanish Government and Parliament, she said, have always taken a strong position on human rights and have supported faithful implementation of the UN conventions, treaties and resolutions.
President Masood Khan said that the situation in Kashmir should not be an exception. In fact, because of the fast deteriorating situation in the IOK, Kashmiris was appealing to the European Parliaments and human rights community all around the world to come to the rescue of the unarmed Kashmiris who were being killed every day.
Ms. Perea said that there was a need to ascertain facts on Kashmir and the UN is in the best position to do so.
Sardar Masood Khan clarified that the Kashmir issue was not about secession, but realisation of the right to self-determination in a disputed territory as lawfully mandated by the United Nations.
He said that a untied and strong Spain is poised to become an even more important player in European Union and across the globe.
Separately, the AJK President also addressed an event organised by EU-Pakistan Friendship Federation – which was attended by Deputies of Catalonia Parliament and members of Pakistani community. MPs Susana Beltran Garcia, Sergio Sanz and Fernando Sanchez Costa, as well as Susana Clerici, Secretary Immigration of Popular Party, among others, attended.
The President briefed them about the human rights situation in IOK and Azad Kashmir’s ambitious plans to develop its infrastructure, attain self-sufficiency in energy, promote tourism, stimulate industry and modernise agriculture. He also invited Pakistani and Kashmir entrepreneurs to invest in Azad Kashmir, especially its industrial zone that would be established in Mirpur under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
President Masood Khan also addressed a large gathering of Pakistani and Kashmiri community which was also attended by Secretaries Immigration of leading political parties. He urged the community to use their new found clout in Spain to muster support for the Kashmir in Spain and European Parliament.
Erika Torre Garcia, who spoke on the occasion, said that human rights defenders have vowed to take the issue of Kashmir to the relevant international forums.