EU Parliament Hosts 'Kashmir Week'

22 July 2009

Brussels: A 'Kashmir EU Week' kicked off in the European Parliament (EP) here Wednesday evening with the aim to draw attention to the Kashmir issue. The Kashmir week is organised by the pro-Pakistan Kashmir Centre in Brussels together with the All Party Group for Kashmir in the EP. The guest speaker at the opening ceremony was Qamar Zaman Kaira, Pakistani Minister for Information and Broadcasting as well as for Kashmir Affairs . Earlier, speaking at a press conference in the EP, Kaira said Pakistan 'supports the self determination of the Kashmiri people.' 'We want dialogue with India on all outstanding issues and Kashmir is the biggest issue ,' he said. Kaira described the recent Sharm el Sheikh,meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh as 'very constructive' adding that all issues were discussed. James Elles, British Member of the EP and Chairman of the All Party Group for Kashmir said it was the fifth time that a Kashmir week was being organised in the EP. He said it was a 'good significance' that the new EU parliamentarians in their first meeting in Brussels 'besides their mails what they will see is Kashmir.' Elles welcomed the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan and said that peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue would bring prosperity to both countries. On his part, Barrister A. Majid. Tramboo, Chairman of Kashmir Centre, called on the new EP to hold 'independent and impartial investigations into the mass grave issue in Kashmir' and 'speak more vigorously on human rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir.' A number of MEPs attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition on Kashmir. The new 736-member EP was elected for a 5-year period following the June European elections.