DUBAI: Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir Chairperson Shehryar Afridi recently visited the UAE, but did not meet any Kashmiris living in the Emirates and neither was the Kashmir issue mentioned in the press statement released by the Pakistan diplomatic mission in Dubai,
Afridi visited the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai on Sunday but Kashmiris were not invited. Pakistan Consul-General to Dubai Ahmed Amjad Ali briefed Afridi about the consular services provided to Pakistanis and the COVID-19 operations for repatriation of Pakistanis.
Kashmiri leaders, too, raised the issue of Afridi’s inactiveness in meeting Kashmiris and discussing the region’s problems.This included Sardar Shabbir, former adviser to the Azad Kashmir government Sardar Javed Yaqub, Azad Kashmir Assembly candidate Farooq Baniya and others.
They said Afridi heads the Kashmir committee, but unfortunately did not bother to meet or invite the “Kashmiri people”.As the chief of the Pakistan Kashmir committee, Afridi could have informed the community and taken them in confidence about the efforts the government has been taking to resolve the Kashmir issue, Shabbir said.
Other Kashmiri leaders said many of their relatives had been living on the Line of Control and facing indiscriminate firing by the Indian army. They wanted to inform Afridi of this.When asked about Afridi’s visit to the consulate and Kashmiris, Press Counsellor Shazia Siraj initially declined to comment.
Siraj then said if the Kashmiris had showed interest to have a meeting with Afridi, the consulate could have arranged it. She did not comment on why the Kashmir issue was missing in the consulate’s press statement.