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Petitions

Volume 670: debated on Monday 20 January 2020

Petitions

Monday 20 January 2020

Observations

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dispute in Kashmir

The petition of residents of Walthamstow,

Declares that the dispute in Kashmir should be resolved peacefully.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the UK Government to use their international standing to encourage India to engage in a comprehensive and sustained dialogue process with its neighbour Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute, and urge the international community to play its role in securing a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Stella Creasy, Official Report, 5 November 2019; Vol. 667, c. 750.]

[P002545]

Observations from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We urge both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and improve channels of communication. We encourage them to engage in dialogue and find lasting diplomatic solutions to the situation, but we recognise that the pace and scope of any dialogue is for India and Pakistan to determine.

We will continue to remain in close contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan regarding the situation in Kashmir.

The long-standing position of the United Kingdom is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people; it is not for the United Kingdom to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator.

Human Rights in Kashmir

The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that the security situation in Kashmir remains unacceptable with continued human rights violations; further that recent events, particularly around the Indian General Election, have seen an increase in violence and deaths in the region.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to put further pressure on the Indian Government to resolve the long running dispute; and further to commit to working with both parties to encourage dialogue to deliver a resolution to the status of the region; and further to support development in the region; and further to support calls for self-determination for the Kashmiri people by empowering those who live in Kashmir to determine their own future through the ballot box.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Holly Lynch, Official Report, 5 November 2019; Vol. 667, c. 747.]

[P002540]

Observations from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We urge both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and improve channels of communication. We encourage them to engage in dialogue and find lasting diplomatic solutions to the situation, but we recognise that the pace and scope of any dialogue is for India and Pakistan to determine.

We welcome India’s commitment to economic and social development in India-administered Kashmir, and have asked the Indian Government for more detail on how their plans will be realised.

We also recognise that there are human rights concerns in India-administered Kashmir. We encourage all states to ensure domestic laws are in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights abuse or violations is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently.

We have raised our concerns with the Government of India and will continue to remain in close contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan regarding the situation in Kashmir.

The long-standing position of the United Kingdom is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people; it is not for the United Kingdom to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator.

India in the Jammu and Kashmir Region

The petition of residents of Burnley,

Declares that the attached petition calls on the actions of India in the occupied region of Jammu and Kashmir should be resolved to a peaceful conclusion that is acceptable to the residents of Kashmir; notes that the Indian decision to revoke Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution has caused killings and human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir; further that the communications blackout in Indian occupied Kashmir has been distressing for residents with families in the region and has stifled journalism on the issue; and further that concerned residents of Burnley many of whom have family in the area have self-organised to create a petition that has received over 1046 signatures to call for action on the issue.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to compel the Foreign Secretary to call for an end to the communications lockdown, lifting the curfew and the compliance of all past United Nations resolutions relating to Kashmir by the State of India.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Julie Cooper, Official Report, 4 November 2019; Vol. 667, c. 11P.]

[P002544]

Observations from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We recognise that there are human rights concerns in India-administered Kashmir. We encourage all states to ensure domestic laws are in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights abuse or violations is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently.

The continued use of detentions and restrictions are worrying: we are clear on the importance of rights being fully respected and of ensuring effective and constructive dialogue with the communities affected.

We have raised our concerns with the Government of India and will continue to remain in close contact with the Governments of both India and Pakistan regarding the situation in Kashmir.

The long-standing position of the United Kingdom is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people; it is not for the United Kingdom to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator.