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India in the Jammu and Kashmir Region

Volume 670: debated on Monday 20 January 2020

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.