Member EU Parliament criticises Arabs for silence on Kashmir issue
LONDON: Conservative Member of the European Parliament Dr Sajjad Karim has said that protests worldwide against Gaza atrocities are being led and helped by Pakistanis, Arab rulers and organisations simply refuse to stand up for the rights of oppressed Kashmiris.
The North West England MEP said that it was unfortunate that not a single Arab government has ever raised the Palestinian issue with him in the European Parliament.
Sajjad Karim MEP said that on the issue of Indian held Kashmir, the Arab governments firmly stood by India, not Pakistan and this is a fact Pakistanis must digest. “When it comes to Kashmir all to often they are seen standing with the oppressors.”
Speaking to The News, Dr Sajjad Karim said that the horrendous suffering of Kashmiris may not make it onto TV screens and highlighting the plight of Kashmiris may not be trendy amongst many circles in the world “but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening”.
He added: “Kashmirs have been oppressed and they are under attack on daily basis by the Indian government but we don’t hear about that often in western media. Pakistanis across the globe must remember the Kashmiris’ plight also. Its Pakistanis who are leading the protests against Isreal, they should speak up for Kashmiris too.”
Sajjad Karim said that from the International community once again “we see the same silence that is officially pronounced for the suffering experienced in Kashmir and Myanmar is also meted out for the Palestinians. Except there is one difference and that is the public consciousness which tries to take a stand for the Palestinians.”
Sajjad Karim MEP said that as Pakistanis all over the world take to the street to protest they must keep in mind the fundamental question - “what is the official position of these same Arab states when it comes to the long suffering people of Kashmir? Pakistanis should first ask where do Arab states stand on Kashmir before placing themselves on front line in Arab issues.”
Sajjad Karim said that for many rich and influential Arab states, the issue of Kashmir doesn’t matter because of their dealings with the Indian government over trade and commerce.He called on the Pakistani government to also reflect why there is confusion over the issue of Kashmir as official position keeps changing and there is so much more that could be done to highlight the issue.
Dr Sajjad Karim said that for the EU - India free trade agreement negotiations, he ensured that a specific paragraph on human right abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir is included. “This ensures that so far as EU trade with India is concerned Kashmir cannot be ignored. No such constraints exist for the Arab nations and Pakistanis on an individual basis need to show greater maturity in assessing their responses to international situations.”