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August 17, 2019

Boris Johnson urged to end silence on Kashmir

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August 17, 2019

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to end his silence on the issue of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and speak out against India’s unconstitutional attack on Kashmir’s autonomy through Article 370.

At a meeting in the House of Commons here, the MPs, academics and campaigners called on the British prime minister to take notice of the grim human rights situation in occupied Kashmir where millions of Kashmiris have been put under inhuman conditions by the occupying Indian Army, cutting them off from communication, prevention of food and supplies and rape and torture of women by Indian soldiers.

MPs Khalid Mahmood, John Spellar and Dr Afzal Ashraf from the University of Nottingham addressed the audience to discuss the implications of Modi’s actions and the way forward. The meeting was arranged by Zeeshan Shah, businessman and community leader.

Labour MP Kahlid Mahmood said that the whole world is alarmed at the revocation of Article 370 of constitution, stripping Kashmir of its autonomous status. “This is a direct attack on the political status of Kashmir and its right to self-governance by Narendra Modi. This will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences for the region. Britain is a party to the dispute of Kashmir and it’s unfortunate that the British Prime Minister has chosen to stay silent and do nothing. The PM must pick up courage and stand by the right side of history and help the people of Kashmiri to get the right of self-determination,” he said.

John Spellar MP called on the United Nations to take action against India after Article 370 revoked. He said Kashmir has become the biggest human rights issue at the present time as a whole nation of millions of people has been caged to live like animals. He said that Narendra Modi has cut off Kashmiris from rest of the world to implement his agenda. He said that media reports that Indian army used cluster bombs on civilians were worrying and should not go unnoticed and unchecked.

The MP said that it was moral obligation of everyone to intervene and stand by the people of Kashmir. He said that use of cluster ammunition amounted to a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and of the international humanitarian law.

Zeeshan Shah said that repeal of Article 370 has further inflamed the already worsening situation in the region that is home to over seven million people. He said those speaking in favour of Kashmir were not against India or Indian people but against policies which discriminated against people on the basis of their religion, origin and colour. He said human rights should be upheld supreme by all nations and violation of legal and human rights of no nation should be denied under any situation.

Shah said that the people of Kashmir should be given the right to decide their future and forcibly annexing them to India will not solve the crisis but will further perpetuate it. Dr Afzal Ashraf called on the United Nations to do everything in its power to de-escalate this extremely troubling and tense situation in occupied Kashmir. He said India is mistaken to believe that it can suppress the freedom movement of Kashmir by use of force and illegal means. He said that Indian govt should show seriousness towards resolving the issue of Kashmir otherwise the region will continue to face instability and chaos.

The meeting discussed the way forward and agreed that Foreign Affairs Select Committee will be approached and letters will be written to parliamentarians, government and international bodies to expose the actions of India in occupied Kashmir. It was agreed that the matter will be raised in the British parliament.

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