MPs in UK the Houses of Parliament condemned terrorism and violence and rejected mediation in the dispute between India and Pakistan on Kashmir in a debate in the United Kingdom’s Parliament in which pro-India speakers among the MPs overwhelmed Pakistan supporters.
Around 13 cross-party MPs addressed both sides of the debate calling the Kashmir dispute a “threat” to regional and global peace and to give the people “right to self-determination”.
David Ward MP, who represents a largely Kashmiri-origin population in his constituency of Bradford, had secured the debate based on a petition by the ‘Jammu & Kashmir Self-Determination Movement’ which gained thousands of signatures. The debate was held as part of the British Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee which meets weekly to consider requests for debates from any backbench MPs on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns and aimed at lobbying UK Government on specific issues.
Political leaders in India condemned the British MPs’ for holding a debate on the “political and humanitarian situation in Kashmir”. India interprets the move as an attempt to criticize India’s role in Kashmir, even put a question mark on its sovereignty over the region. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said in a post on social media, “British Parliament’s decision to discuss Kashmir issue condemnable. Can we take up Falkland Islands or Scotland issue for discussion in our Parliament?”
Ms Krishna Bhan
President of Indo European Kashmir Forum & Director Hindu Council UK (HCUK)