British parliament to debate ‘rights violation’ in Kashmir
British parliament’s House of Commons has agreed to hold a special debate on the state of human rights in Kashmir.
British MP David Ward informed the backbench business committee that “ongoing Kashmir dispute a threat to regional and global peace” and that the new Indian government has been “quite aggressive in terms of its stance towards Kashmir” which was “opening up a whole new area of uncertainty”.
Ward also informed that he had the support of 40 MPs who would like Westminster to hold a debate on the human rights violations in Kashmir.
Though a formal date for the debate has not been decided as yet, Britain’s decision to agree for a debate on Kashmir hasn’t been well received by Friends of India and Southeast Asian think-tanks. They said “Why should Kashmir be discussed in the parliament when Britain has always been of the view that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan?”
Ward informed that “Kashmir has been a constant source of misery over many years to many people. In the region of 500,000 to 600,000 Indian Army troops are in the area on a permanent basis. It is an area of tension and some 500,000 people have died there in the past 60 or so years”.
Ward who represents Bradford East in the British parliament also cited what he called the “uncertainty about article 370”.
Ward expressed concerns that the members of the new India government are talking about the abrogation of Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu & Kashmir. He sought a debate on a motion from a petition that has been signed by 40 MPs, 10 MEPs and also 50,000 members of the public.
The petition says that “the ongoing Kashmir dispute is a threat to regional and global peace; further that the dispute is causing insecurity, instability and human rights violations; and further that the state of Jammu & Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination”.