The Nation | 14 June 2011
Europe links Indian FTA with Kashmir solution
By: Thenation Monitoring
ISLAMABAD — In a significant development, the European Parliament (EP) has linked the Kashmir dispute with signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.
A daily newspaper in Srinagar reported that the Para-33 of the resolution passed by the European Parliament on May 11, 2011, over the FTA between India and European Union states that human rights, democracy and security are essential elements of the relationship between EU and India.
“Therefore, we call on both sides to ensure that dialogue on open issues is stepped up with particular reference to Held Kashmir,” the resolution added.
The resolution for expediting the dialogue over the Kashmir dispute came in the wake of the All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) Chairman Mir Waiz Umar Farooq’s visit to the European Union headquarters at Brussels last month, and the frequent trips of the EU Ambassadors to the occupied territory to meet different shades of opinion.
Earlier, the EU had termed Kashmir as ‘world’s most beautiful prison’. Its Parliament had also passed a resolution in 2008 asking New Delhi to urgently ensure independent and impartial investigations into all suspected sites of mass graves in occupied Kashmir and as an immediate first step to secure the grave sites in order to preserve the evidence.
Meanwhile, Mir Waiz Umar Farooq in an interview welcomed the EP resolution of linking FTA with Kashmir issue. “This is a positive development as far as the Kashmir dispute is concerned. We have been seeking their facilitation for resolving the dispute. I met different parliamentarians of EU during my visit to Brussels in the first week of May and apprised them about different aspects of the problem,” he added.