KNP leaders meet British Foreign Secretary, urge end to rights abuses in Kashmir

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London, Sept.9 (ANI): Kashmir National Party leaders Abbas Butt and Dr Shabir Choudhry had a detailed meeting with senior officials responsible for issues related to Kashmir and South Asia at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Issues discussed by the Kashmiri leaders on Wednesday included human rights abuses, terrorism, extremism, communalism and militant infiltration.

They also emphasised that there was no military solution to the Kashmir dispute; and that it was not a religious or a bilateral dispute. The dispute has to be resolved by a peace process and by making people of Jammu and Kashmir part of the process.

The KNP leaders also handed in a letter for British Foreign Secretary William Secretary; and text of the letter is produced below.

Dr. Choudhry and Mr. Butt told British Foreign Secretary William Hague that many Kashmiris still hold the British responsible for their miseries as it was they who failed to resolve the Kashmir dispute before relinquishing their imperial rule in India in 1947.

Both told Hague that Britain and other European countries have virtually ignored the plight of the people of former State of Jammu and Kashmir while continuing to make lofty claims about doing right by them.

"We appreciate economic and strategic interests are important, but principles and human values are also very important; and members of the International Community must uphold human values and right of self determination. The people of Jammu and Kashmir also deserve to enjoy fruits of democracy. They must not be denied fundamental human rights, including right of self determination. They must not be subjugated, oppressed, abused and humiliated," both said in their letter to Hague.

The letter also emphasized that the Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature; and it is not a territorial dispute either. The dispute concerns our unfettered right of self determination.

"People of the former princely state must be allowed to determine their future without any fear or intimidation. The State must not be divided on religious or ethnic lines as this will create more problems for the people and for the peace and stability of the entire region," the letter added.

"Both India and Pakistan should ensure that human rights abuse in their respective parts of Jammu and Kashmir must come to an end," the letter concludes. By Cynthia Chandran(ANI)

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