UK Parliament holding debate on rights abuses in IOK, today

Sep 11th, 2014 | Category: Kashmir News

Britain’s House of Commons is holding a special debate on the state of human rights in the Indian-held Kashmir, today, a move that has seriously irked India.

Calling the ongoing Kashmir issue a threat to regional and global peace, British Member of Parliament (MP) David Ward informed the Backbench Business Committee that he had 40 lawmakers backing him up through a signatory campaign who would like Westminster to hold a debate on the human rights violations in Kashmir.

Ward is a Liberal Democrat MP represents Bradford East in the House of Commons. Bradford city has the biggest Kashmiri-origin population in Britain. Recently, the British lawmaker told the committee that Kashmir has been a constant source of misery over many years to many people. “In the region of about 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.”

“This is why I think it is an important subject: three million members of the Indian/Pakistani community; 100,000 Kashmiris in Bradford. The reason why I think it is important now to have a debate of this kind is, first of all, it is three years since we had a debate in the chamber on this crucially important subject. It is considered by many to be the forgotten conflict,” he said.

“You are talking about two nuclear powers facing each other. We do believe it is worthy of a debate, because of its international dimensions as well,” he said. Ward said that the motion of the petition says, “This House believes that the ongoing Kashmir issue 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 and Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination.”

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