The committee headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman (in picture) had also remained ‘tight-lipped’ during the 2016 agitation in Kashmir
Pakistan’s Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir led by its chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman has come in for stinging criticism for its “silence” on Sunday’s killings in south Kashmir.
“With the entire nation condemning the bloodbath in Kashmir, the Kashmir Committee and its chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman are nowhere to be seen,” a media report said Tuesday.
Mandated to espouse the cause of Kashmiris and express solidarity with them, the present Kashmir Committee comprises nominees of almost all major political parties of Pakistan.
“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,” the reports said.
The Committee met only eight times since 2013, it said. “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” during the 2016 agitation as well which broke out after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander 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, Fazlur Rehman failed to convene a diplomatic conference on Kashmir despite the announcement by the committee last year,” the report said.
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.
Notably, the annual budget for Kashmir Committee is Rs 550 million per year, while its 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.