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February 7, 2020

MP Tahir Ali demands end to Indian atrocities in Kashmir in maiden speech

World

February 7, 2020

BIRMINGHAM: Newly elected member of Parliament from Birmingham, Tahir Ali, has raised the Kashmir issue in his first speech in Commons. Tahir of Kashmiri heritage, elected for the first time as member of Parliament from Birmingham-Hall Green constituency, demanded an end to Indian atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK).

In his maiden speech which coincided with the Kashmir Solidarity Day, Tahir Ai paid homage to tens of thousands of Kashmiris who have been martyred by Indian armed forces in IOK.

Addressing the Parliament, Labour’s Tahir Ali reminded the fellow MPs that it has been exactly six months since the BJP-led government in India decided to unilaterally strip Jammu and Kashmir of the special autonomy after seven decades of occupation.

He further said the Indian government has audaciously defied the basic norms and principles underpinning the concept of democracy and human freedom. “India has deprived Kashmiris of expressing themselves in a peaceful manner and even elderly women who marked a silent protest in Srinagar, the capital of Indian administrated Kashmir were not spared and have been detained”.

Tahir termed this act illegal and expressed his worry over the silence of international community. “In South Asia the long drawn dispute of Jammu and Kashmir remains a hanging fireball between two hostile nuclear neighbours — India and Pakistan. It has been bringing human miseries in the form of war and the issue continues to threaten regional and global peace,” said Ali.

Labour’s Tahir Ali, who has also served as a councillor from Birmingham’s Nechels Ward, was selected to contest in elections from Birmingham-Hall Green, a seat held by Labour for decades.

More than 40 per cent of constituents living in Hall Green are of Kashmiri origin, which is higher than any other constituency in the UK and this issue directly affects them. A peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue is their demand.

He further said he is not making this speech either as a “Proud Pakistani” not as an “Anti-Indian”, but as a Kashmiri he feels it is his duty to highlight the abuses and human right violations.

Tahir Ali said that despite more than 25 resolutions in the United Nations calling for a peaceful solution, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting for their right to self-determination, but India has always shown reluctance to grant the Kashmiris this right.

Referring to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 and the referendum to remain or leave in the EU in 2016 where the people of Scotland and Britain were given their democratic right to express their choice, Tahir reminded that the people of Kashmir are still waiting to have this right.

He said: “This is not in my view a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and the international community needs to take responsibility”. Tahir told the house that Indian army and paramilitary forces in Kashmir are deliberately and methodically violating the fundamental human rights and international norms on human rights laws. Tahir demanded an end to the siege in Kashmir and the full restoration of telephone and Internet as well as restoration of democratic rights and basic human rights for the besieged Kashmiris. “We have an international obligation to support peace and equality and just treatment for all humans”, he added.

Tahir Ali also thanked his constituents for putting their trust and confidence in him to represent them in Parliament and concluded his maiden speech with this quote of Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.