London: A recent report approved by the European Parliament says terrorism in Kashmir is due to lack of democracy in Pakistan.
“I hope to encourage the Pakistani government to see that the democratic processes will only enhance and not diminish the chances of peace and it is in the interest of every government to have a peaceful solution for every dispute,” says European Parliament Rapporteur for Kashmir, Baroness Emma Nicholson.
Nicholson, who has written the first major report on Kashmir, emphasised the need for democracy to ensure lasting peace in Kashmir.
Her report highlights the lack of political freedom in parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir like Gilgit and Baltistan and the Northern Areas.
“I'm very pleased that this report can highlight that people in Pakistan, for too long, they have been in the shadow, they deserve just as much democracy,” Nicholson says.
The report has been passed by the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee with 60 votes to one. It will now be tabled in the full Parliament by the end of May.
Many Kashmiris, including one faction of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, have welcomed the report as a milestone.
“Well it has helped. It has strengthened people of Jammu and Kashmir; it has exposed the policies of Pakistan with regard to AJK and with regard to Gilgit and Baltistan. The report emphasises that the people of Kashmir deserve to have a democracy and it has also mentioned the areas which are currently under china and nobody wants to talk about that,” says Chairman, Diplomatic Committee, JKLF, Shabir Chaudhry.
Meanwhile, forgotten Kashmir spotlighted by the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament, no elections in Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan control, no elections or democracy worth the name in what is called Azad Kashmir and indeed Pakistan itself, has been quite a change from the very hostile positions taken by the European parliament against India earlier.