Brussels: The Secretary General of the Brussels-based Europe India Chamber of Commerce and President of Global Organisation of People of Indian origin in Belgium (GOPIO) Mr. Sunil Prasad welcomed the adoption of the Kashmir report by the European Parliament Thursday .
â€œThe report should be seen in the context of Indiaâ€™s growing influence in Europe and European Institutionâ€™s support of Indiaâ€™s progressive policies in Jammu & Kashmir,â€? Prasad told INEPNEXT news agency .
â€œThis report speaks the reality of the exiting situation in Pakistan, and Pakistan should take a positive view of the various elements of the report including its recommendations and take appropriate measures to address the concerns of the international community and the European Parliament,â€? said Prasad.
He added that Pakistan is becoming â€œless and not moreâ€?, democratic everyday which is undermining human rights, rule of law and independence of judiciary and the country has to go a long way to introduce human rights related legal reforms in the country.
The report “Kashmir: present situation and future prospects” authored by British MEP by Baroness Emma Nicholson was adopted at the plenary session in Strasbourg with 522 votes in favour, 9 against and 19 abstentions.
Pakistan and Pakistani-backed groups like the Kashmir Centre in Brussels had undertaken immense lobbying to change the report.
However, Liberal Democrat MEPs Liz Lynne and Sajjad Karim welcomed the European Parliament’s vote on what they claimed was â€œa considerably changed report on Kashmirâ€?.
Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg, Lynne , President of the Liberal Democrats Friends of Kashmir said, “I welcome the adoption today of a significantly amended report, at least we now have mention of the people of Kashmir’s right to self determination, something I have always called for.â€?
Sajjad Karim, Chairman of the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group, said “as Liberals, our bottom line for this resolution is to support the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination. It is a right guaranteed by the UN and one which the EU has a duty to respect and protect.â€?
“Our amendments sought to retain such a balance and ensure the Kashmiri people are at the heart of this European Parliament Resolution,â€™â€™ he said.
“The EU must support the positive ideas coming forward from India and Pakistan. We must insist that these concrete proposals are explored through full consultation with the Kashmiri people,â€™â€™ said Karim.