BRUSSELS/ISLAMABAD   -   The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on Monday demanded that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately lift the New Delhi-sanctioned curfew in occupied Kashmir.

Expressing serious concern over the complete communication and media blackout in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region, the European Parliament strongly criticised India and its members condemned the behaviour of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration.

Members of the European Parliament demanded that India start a dialogue with Pakistan right away and Modi immediately lift the curfew in Kashmir.

The members further said the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament should issue a reactionary statement on the situation in occupied Kashmir as soon as possible.

On August 31, it was reported that the European Parliament, resuming its session after a six-week recess, would take on the issue of Kashmir in its Monday session. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan was scheduled to be present at the European Parliament to discuss the Kashmir issue.

It had requested the European External Action Service — the EU’s foreign ministry — to submit a full report comprising violation of human rights and international law.

Separately, the Kashmir Council EU chairperson had said the lockdown in Kashmir was a matter of concern since it had entered the fourth consecutive week.

On the other hand, members of the Pakistani diaspora in Belgium had gathered outside the Embassy in Brussels in a show of solidarity with the Kashmiris during Kashmir Hour.

The Kashmiri Diaspora, Kashmir Council EU, and Free Kashmir Organisation have since August 5 been protesting in front of the EU’s foreign ministry as well as the Indian embassy in Belgium and other European cities.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcast Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Friday’s half an hour protest to highlight plight of Kashmiris has attracted global attention and echoing of the issue in the European Parliament was a proof of Pakistan’s successful diplomacy.

She said the unprecedented sacrifices of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the sincere diplomacy of the Prime Minister Imran Khan across the globe have started yielding positive results.

In a tweet, the SAPM said that today the world was raising voice in favor of oppressed Kashmiris along with Pakistan. 

She said despite efforts by India, neither the voice of  Organization of Islamic Cooperation could be silenced nor the United Nations Security Council meeting could be postponed.

Firdous said the world has rejected Indian’s claim that Kashmir was its internal matter.