Rs 55 crore Kashmir Committee "Missing in Action"
*ISLAMABAD:* With the entire nation condemning the bloodbath in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK), Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir and its Chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman appear nowhere to be seen.
Mandated to espouse the cause of Kashmiris and express solidarity with them, the present Kashmir Committee comprises nominees of almost all major political parties, representing the whole nation, to highlight the atrocities committed on Kashmiris.
This is, however, not the first time that Fazlur Rehman has failed to highlight the plight of Kashmiris – the task for which he is being remunerated millions each year from the national exchequer.
Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir met only eight times since 2013.
They said that the prized post of committee chairman is being used as a political bribe for the past ten years to win the support of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) – whose chief is Fazlur Rehman – by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), despite the fact that Fazl has almost been indifferent to the cause of Kashmir.
The committee remained tight-lipped last year as well when over 200 youngsters were slain in Kashmir valley after the martyrdom of freedom fighter Burhan Wani.
Fazlur Rehman was conspicuous by his absence once again in 2017 when the country’s Parliament hosted an international seminar over the Kashmir issue attended by world parliamentarians and scholars, but he was nowhere to be seen. Also, Chairman Fazlur Rehman failed to convene a diplomatic conference on the IoK despite the announcement by the committee last year.
According to sources, the Kashmir Committee only met once during the entire year, though a joint session of the Parliament was convened after the committee failed to deliver.
Sources further said that the official budget for Kashmir Committee is Rs550 million per year. On the other hand, the chairman enjoys the perks and privileges equal to a federal minister and has been provided with a furnished house in the Ministers’ Enclave.
Besides that, a grade 20 officer works as secretary of the committee to assist the chairman.