Shehryar Afridi launches holistic plan to help raise Kashmir cause on global forums

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Shehryar Khan Afridi on Wednesday launched a holistic and proactive plan of action for the Kashmir Committee to help raise the Kashmir issue at all global forums.

Chairing a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Shehryar Afridi mentioned that the plan is an outcome of yearlong effort made by the Committee and experts working with the Committee.

The Committee expressed unanimous support over the Kashmir Policy adopted by the federal government and accorded consent to the action plan on Kashmir. Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi and National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf made presentations on the government strategy on observing Solidarity Day on Kashmir.

According to Afridi, the Committee has been working on building subcommittees in the form of advisory boards to cover all possible fronts on Kashmir. Shehryar Afridi said that the Kashmir Committee has shifted its functioning from the traditional path to a holistic narrative building on Kashmir.

The Kashmir Committee has been working with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to ensure the provision of the level playing field on the digital space.

An Advisory Board has been formed involving Information Technology (IT) experts to ensure maximum space on the digital front. He said for adding new vigour and punch to Kashmir narrative, Kashmir Committee has formed an Advisory Board on Academia to push for new research and content to the narrative on Kashmir.

Afridi held that following the western model, the Kashmir Committee has formed an Advisory Board on Culture to further storytelling on Kashmir. He said that Indian occupational regime has suppressed media in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and stories and imagery are not coming out despite matchless sacrifices by Kashmir journalists.

He mentioned that on January 31, the Indian colonial regime in Kashmir has registered an FIR against Kashmiri media outlet, The Kashmir Walla, to suppress media freedom. He said that criminal cases were being registered against journalists in Indian occupational regime to gag media as India wanted to stop imagery and stories coming out of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Afridi said that a cultural front is being formed to push the narrative on Kashmir. He said that top artistes, thinkers and filmmakers are being added to the Advisory Board on Culture to project Kashmiri culture which is being destroyed by the occupational regime in IIOJK under its genocide plan.

He said that in order to project Kashmiri sports, Kashmir Committee was supporting Kashmir Premier League to put Kashmir on the global sports map. Youth Ambassadors are being projected to become vloggers, bloggers and social media activist to help storytelling on Kashmir.

He said that among one of the newest agendas of Kashmir Committee is to work on EU Disinfo Lab report to expose the dubious approaches of India to create bias in a global opinion by projecting fake news and baseless propaganda against Pakistan through fake media outlets, fake websites and fake NGOs. Kashmir Committee also formed an Advisory Board on Lawfare to explore future strategy and options on legal aspects of Kashmir dispute.

Afridi said that the Kashmir Committee also worked on the research on Kashmir in liaison with the Kashmiri scholars and think tanks. Kashmir Committee also added civil society as a new agent in Kashmir narrative building on International forums. He said that the Committee has identified 22 global forums to raise Kashmir dispute.

He said that the Kashmir Committee has for the first time in history took the deaf community on board to use gestures to tell the story of Kashmir to the world. Kashmir Committee has been developing its own first-ever dedicated website to provide verified data on both Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well as IIOJK in six different languages.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that all political parties should adopt a bipartisan approach on Kashmir. He said that Kashmiri people had paid unprecedented sacrifices for freedom from illegal Indian occupation and they stand committed to their fervour for freedom. Massive Indian oppression against Kashmiris has alienated the Kashmiri people. Indian occupational forces have been involved in false flag operation in Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir but EU Disinfo Lab has fully exposed the Indian atrocities and its false narrative on Kashmir. India was escaping dialogue and the world has recognised this fact.

He said that Pakistan has time and again expressed its willingness for adjudication by United Nations Secretary-General but India has been avoiding arbitration. India was the biggest hurdle in regional connectivity. Moeed Yusuf gave an overview of the government’s efforts to internationalise the Kashmir dispute.

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