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First-ever conference on Kashmir issue held in French Parliament

PARIS, Sept 25 (WNP): For the first time, the issue of Kashmir was highlighted in the French Parliament in a symposium organized by Jean Bernard Sempastous, the President of Pakistan France Friendship Group in the French National Assembly in Paris the other day.

The conference held on the theme, “Kashmir – the oldest conflict of the World”, was attended by the members of the French Parliament, scholars, researchers, human rights activists and French and Pakistan media in large number.

Jean Bernard Sempastous in his remarks said the conflict in Kashmir between Pakistan and India was 70 years old and had caused thousands of deaths.

He said as there was little knowledge about Kashmir conflict in France, the Friendship Group decided to organize this event many months ago. After a new historical turning point since August, reflection on this oldest conflict of the world deserved our full attention.

He stressed the need for early resolution of Kashmir dispute and called upon both Pakistan and India to exercise maximum restraint and take steps to resolve the issue by peaceful means.

He also stressed the need for restoration of fundamental freedoms of the people of Kashmir.

The four panelists representing French think tanks, educational institutions and human rights organizations shed light on the Kashmir dispute from the historical perspective, current developments and future prospects.

The Ambassador of Pakistan to France Moin ul Haque speaking at the event thanked the French National Assembly for organizing this first ever conference on Kashmir.

He highlighted the plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who for the last seven weeks were facing an unprecedented lockdown and curbs on their fundamental freedoms.

The ambassador thanked the French human rights organizations and media for their objective reporting and highlighting the sufferings of the Kashmiri people and the human rights violations in IoK, which has been termed as the largest militarized zone in the world.

The ambassador also conveyed the message from President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan in which he requested the French parliament to hold an open debate on the humanitarian emergency in Jammu and Kashmir; France to lobby with relevant UN and international organization to establish a humanitarian corridor for the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and for France to play its role as permanent member of the Security Council for peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per UN Security Council resolutions.

The AJK president expressed the hope that the people of France, who are the harbingers of universally recognized fundamental freedoms and human rights, would also raise their voices for the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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