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Ex-Catalan leader defends Kashmir’s right to self-determination

Former Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, defended Kashmiris’ to self-determination during the 15th EU-India Summit and accused Europe of holding a “double standard”.

Puigdemont, who is also a member of the European Parliament, told The News that human rights could not be defined without the fundamental principles of a right to self-determination. He maintains that democracy forms the basis of human rights and that this was a cornerstone of self-determination.

The Catalan leader, who is currently living in exile in Belgium due to his role in Catalan’s failed independence referendum, further accused Europe of holding “a double standard on human rights”.

"If the right to self-determination is recognised as a right in any kind of negotiation, only then will it be possible to protect the concept of the right to self-determination," Puigdemont stated.

Abdul Majid Tramboo, leader of the Organisation of Kashmir Coalition (OKC), has responded to the 15th EU-India Summit, claiming that the conclusions were “regrettable”  as European leaders did not raise the issue of human rights as strongly as they expected them to.

Kashmir Council-Europe (KC-EU) Chairperson Ali Raza Syed has also accused the EU of holding “double standards”.

MEP, Manuela Ripa, who is set to replace Germany's Dr Klaus Buchner, claimed that she had sympathy for the Kashmiri people who have been waiting for a referendum in Europe on their right to self-determination.

Whilst she claimed that she would try to bring parties together on this issue, she added that she knows India has a strong stance on this and that she did not want a referendum.

Read more from The News

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