MIRPUR (AJK)    -    Shaffaq Muhammad, only Kashmiri-origin member of the European Parliament, called for an early peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue for being the issue of human rights and not a territorial or bilateral dispute between Pakistan and India.

He was addressing a news conference at Kashmir Press Club during a visit to his native Mirpur district on Saturday. He was accompanied by human rights activist Raja Najabat Hussain who apprised the media of the vibrant role of Kashmiri diaspora in Britain and other Western countries for the resolution of Kashmir conflict.

Earlier, Kashmir Press Club President Sajjad Jaraal, General Secretary Ch Pervez Shahzad and other office-bearers and members of the club felicitated Shaffaq for having been elected as the only Kashmiri-origin member in the European Parliament.

Shaffaq Muhammad, belonging to British Liberal Democratic Party, continued that a negotiated settlement of Kashmir issue according to the wishes of the stake holders, especially the Jammu and Kashmir people was the need of hour at the pattern of soft-border regime plasticized in European and other parts of the world during the course of Kashmir-like international issues.

He also called for liberal excess to the international human rights organisations including the Amnesty International to assess the human rights situation at both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

To a question, he appreciated the recent repeated offer of mediation on Kashmir by the US President Donald Trump. Responding to other questions, he termed official foreign visits of AJK leaders to ‘highlight Kashmir issue’ a futile exercise and waste of public money because in all their visits they only gather Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora and do not arrange any formal official session or meeting with British and European officials.

Speaking on the occasion, Raja Nijabat Hussain vowed to continue struggling for early settlement of Kashmir issue and against human rights abuses in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.