Constantinos Bogdanos raises the plight of minorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir at Geneva event

Constantinos Bogdanos

In a key event held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on March 22, the National Equality Party Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Ladakh (NEP-JKGBL) organised a side event aimed at spotlighting the challenges faced by minorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, with former Greek MP Constantinos Bogdanos as a panellist.

According to WION, other panellists included Professor Nicolas Levrat, Tsenge Tsering, Humphrey Hawksley, and Sajjad Raja. Joseph Chongsi moderated the discussion.

Bogdanos, a Greek politician, stressed the criticality of raising awareness among politicians and citizens worldwide about the challenges confronting minorities, even in geographically distant regions.

He vehemently criticised Pakistan's policies, particularly regarding minority treatment and the militarisation of the region, drawing parallels from the experiences of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, and emphasising the necessity of collective action.

The former MP pointed to the "deliberate suppression of political discourse in the region" which is "alarming".

Tsenge Tsering, hailing from Gilgit-Baltistan, provided first-hand insights into the situation. Despite economic prosperity, the local populace grapples with poverty, inadequate infrastructure, and food security risks. Tsering decried the lack of constitutional rights and representation for the majority population in the territory.

Professor Levrat, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues advocated for equal treatment of all individuals based on their unique circumstances. He stressed the importance of engagement with NGOs and civil society to gain deeper insights and foster collaboration with governments.

Hawksley advocated for peaceful resistance against oppression and urged for the urgent development of these regions to avert catastrophe, drawing historical parallels with Taiwan's peaceful transformation into a prosperous democracy.

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