Pakistan Witnesses The Launch Of Country’s First Kashmir Lobby Group
By News Desk
Saturday, 31 August, 2013
Today was a unique day for Kashmir in Pakistan. Young Kashmiri and Pakistani activists descended on the capital city to send a political message: No to forgetting UN resolutions on Kashmir.
The event is significant as it coincides with the Indian military escalation on the ceasefire line in Kashmir, where Pakistani civilians and soldiers have been killed by unprovoked Indian ceasefire violations.
The event, patronized by former Chairman Senate Muhammad Mian Soomro, and attended by the President and Prime Minister of AJK and top foreign diplomats accredited to Islamabad, marks the first time that a Kashmir lobby group is created in the country to ensure that Islamabad’s policymakers do not deviate from UN resolutions.
The new lobbying group, the Youth Forum For Kashmir [YFK] is based in Islamabad with regional offices in Muzaffarabad, Lahore, Karachi, and soon in Quetta and Peshawar.
The founder of the group is Sardar Asad Ullah Khan, a Pakistani Kashmiri from Rawalakot. YFK’s Board of Governors includes prominent names. Ambassador Tasneem Aslam, a Kashmiri, is expected to join the lobby group in a couple of months after her retirement from Foreign Service.
The event also saw the unveiling of the Twin Ribbons, a Red and Green symbol for the Kashmiri struggle that will be used internationally to raise awareness about Kashmir, the Indian military occupation, and the sacrifices of Kashmiri people for freedom.
The YFK launches this Twin Ribbon Theme as part of an international campaign to bring Kashmir back to the top of global agenda.
The banners at the event reflected some of the political positions of the new lobbying group. One banner said, ‘No to forgetting UN Resolutions on Kashmir. No to underhand deals. Kashmir is an international dispute. We don’t accept bilateralism here.’
Representatives of various Kashmiri political groups based in Pakistan attended the event, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, among others.
Mushaal Hussein Mullick, the Pakistani wife of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik, also addressed the launching ceremony. Her 15-months old daughter has been denied travel documents by the Indian embassy in Islamabad. She cannot travel back to Srinagar to be with her father, who last saw her when she was a month old.