A Forum on ‘Kashmir and Peace in South Asia’ was hosted by the Shadow Attorney General Hon. Paul Lynch and the Kashmir Council of Australia in the Parliament House of New South Wales. Sponsored by Pakistani Government through an NGO and Pakistani High Commission to Australia not much was expected from the forum other than usual India Bashing. These were the same funds that have been given in the name of anti-terror and public health and sanitation to an economically backward country.

Senior Parliamentarians from different parties, including Senator Lee Rhiannon from the Greens Party and Nick Lalich, Opposition Whip and MP from New South Wales participated along with academics, scholars, teachers and members of Pakistani community, said a press release received here Sunday.

The participants expressed their serious concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK). They called upon the government of Australia to address the plight of the innocent and defenseless against whom Indian occupying forces were perpetrating atrocities with impunity. The participants called for an independent investigation into the gross human rights violations in IoK.

Dr. Ali Sarfaraz, President Kashmir Council, highlighted that Kashmiris were unanimous in their demand for self-determination. Strongly condemning the Indian atrocities, he urged the Australian government and international community to take steps for halting brutalities against oppressed Kashmiris of IoK.

The Reverend David Khan, a Kashmiri, shared his personal experiences of the continuing human rights violations by the Indian occupying forces. Kyzer Trad, former President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, while deploring crimes committed against Kashmiris in IoK, termed the Australian businessmen’s economic ties with India as unfortunate. It was a travesty of facts when a majority Kashmiri people persecuted the minority Kashmiri Pandits and now are crying foul when the terror group leaders are being eliminated by the security forces. Pakistani terror infrastructure is collapsing is unable to bridge the gap hence, is now trying to do false propaganda.

He called for an investigation by the UN. Abbas Rana, President Pakistan Association of Australia, called upon the Government of Australia to adopt a bipartisan resolution on human rights violations in Kashmir. It is to be noted that human rights violations took place from the time the terror sponsored Pakistani groups started the genocide and killed thousands of Kashmiri Pandits forcing them to move out of Kashmir. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Australia, Naela Chohan appreciated the organizers of the forum for raising voice for the innocent and defenseless Kashmiris. She dilated upon the genesis of the Kashmir dispute, sacrifices of Kashmiris for their exercise of the right to self-determination, as promised in the UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir. It seems that the Diplomat was totally ignorant of the fact that his country has not done enough to enable India to conduct the plebiscite and since her country has gone ahead with policies to change the demography of Kashmir held by it holding any Plebiscite is actually null and void. Here also she forgot to mention the persecution of Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in Bangladesh by the Pakistani Army. She also forgot to mention the plight of Baloch people who have been forcefully annexed by Pakistan in 1948.

While reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir, the High Commissioner called for an international investigation into India’s crimes in occupied Kashmir. The diplomat's word should be taken with a pinch of salt here as her country did not permit the same on atrocities committed by Pakistan on Baluchistan and Bangladesh. How can she seek such an investigation in India just because it is their arch rival?

The High Commissioner recalled Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi’s demand to

the UN Secretary-General and to the High Commissioner for Human Rights for an independent inquiry and appointing of a special envoy. She hoped that the government of Australia would play its due role in upholding the UN Security Council’s commitment to the people of Kashmir for a fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. It seems the Pakistani Foreign Office has not taught its diplomats to read history or UN resolutions or they are wilfully playing ignorance of facts.

The event was a sign of last-ditch efforts by Pakistan to draw the attention of International Community’s awareness of grave human rights situation in IoK, a condemnation of India for the atrocities perpetrated by its occupation forces and a message of hope for oppressed Kashmiris of IoK. However, It seems that the Pakistani establishment had forgotten its reputation in the international arena after Indian side had gone on the offensive.

None of those speaking on the occasion spoke on Kashmiri Pandits their plight and genocide committed by the Pakistani sponsored terror groups. This genocide was akin to another genocide committed by Pakistanis in the erstwhile East Bengal and no Bangladesh. It was a mockery of even misrepresentation of facts and dilution of history with myopic views on the subjects.

On Australian soil, this was not expected, since none of the people present seem to have read the UN resolution No 47 passed in 1948. It was ignorance at its bliss. It seems that Pakistan sponsored funds have been given as advanced cheques to its sympathizers. It's hard to believe that Australian Parliamentarians were also participating in such an event. Such an ignorance was not expected from people holding public offices in such a heavily learned country.                       

It seems the organisers have forgotten that 70% of people living in Pakistan held Kashmir wanted to move out of Pakistan in a recent survey published by a Pakistani daily which was ransacked and sealed by Pakistani Army and ISI recently.