Pak Parliament sets up panel to monitor J&K situation

19 August 2008
The Hindustan Times

Islamabad: Ignoring India's assertions that Islamabad should not interfere in its affairs, Pakistan's Parliament on Tuesday decided to set up a panel to monitor human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir and mobilise world opinion in support of the 'right of self-determination' for Kashmiri people. Ruling Pakistan People's Party leader and Law Minister Farooq Naek moved a motion for setting up a special panel on Kashmir comprising parliamentarians in the National Assembly and it was passed unanimously by the lower house. The motion said the committee would 'monitor human rights violations' and 'mobilise world opinion in support of the cause of right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir'. The panel will also 'increase awareness within as well as outside the country about the Kashmir issue' and 'solicit and provide political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir'. The committee will 'monitor the performance of the organisations working on Kashmir' and 'provide guidance whenever required'. It will 'consider and decide such other issues and matters' that would be referred to it by the National Assembly. The motion came close on the heels of a war of words between India and Pakistan on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has witnessed violent protests in recent weeks. India has rejected comments by Pakistani leaders and officials on the situation in the northern state as a 'clear interference' in its internal affairs.