A group of more than 35 cross party British Parliamentarians led by Bradford West MP Naz Shah, have today co-signed a letter asking for the Prime minister of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) - Farooq Haider Khan - to complete and expand the diaspora support initiative that he has been working on in Kashmir’
The government of Azad Kashmir have recently legislated for a "Commission for Overseas Kashmiri's" based in Azad Kashmir. Ministers will report directly to the PM, who will personally chair the Commission. It has been designed specifically to support the Kashmiri diaspora community navigate through processes that they may be unfamiliar with.
Yesterday, Naz Shah met with the PM Farooq Haidar Khan and held lengthy discussions around the continued implementation of the proposals. Naz Shah suggested that this commission would benefit if it had direct designated links to the diaspora communities, via the Pakistan high commission and its regional offices here in the U.K.
The letter also calls for a strengthening of the current proposals, asking them to explore the possibility of separate 'Diaspora Facilitator Police Cells’. Arm’s length, on the ground, independent policing units within Kashmir.
While commending what the government has done so far these British Parliamentarians are asking the government to go further.
On the Issue of Commission Naz Shah Says –
‘’Whilst I am pleased to see the authorities in AJK, and particularly the Prime Minister himself are making visible efforts in rooting out corruption and making legal processes more accessible for the diaspora community in the UK, it can often be a struggle to achieve justice and legal remedies.
‘The Diaspora community are vulnerable in many ways to processes that are often opaque, confusing and difficult to navigate without support. The establishment of a Commission represents a significant opportunity and British Parliamentarians have urged the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmiri to consolidate the initiative with a liaison team based in the UK, allied to a dedicated investigative police team in Azad Kashmir.”
“‘This is not about getting the diaspora a different level of access, it is about ensuring that they get access to due process”
“The diaspora community invests considerably in Azad Kashmir, and these additional initiatives will help secure the legacy and success of the commission”