Lord Qurban Hussain asks govt to play role in Kashmir solution

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LONDON: Drawing the attention of the House of Lords, Lib Dem leader Lord Qurban Hussain referred the tense situation in subcontinent on Thursday and said that in order to bring a common peace, prosperity and future the Commonwealth summit next year should include efforts to minimise the prospects of any war between member states and to protect human rights in their respective countries.
“In this respect I would like to draw the attention to the continuing warlike situation between two nuclear nations— India and Pakistan—in the Kashmir region. If one goes on the internet and types the words “cross-border firing” one will find that over 90% of the incidents listed in the past two years refer to India and Pakistan. This could lead to a full-scale war at any time”, Lord Qurban Hussain said.
He referred that the core issue between these two countries is Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir were promised a plebiscite or a referendum by the United Nations nearly 70 years ago. That was agreed by India and Pakistan. “That is the very right we provided to the Scottish people and the British people enjoyed that right over Brexit. Kashmiris asking for the same right are met with live bullets, detention, torture, rape and disappearances, with thousands of mass graves identified by international human rights organisations”.
“As both countries are members of the Commonwealth, will British Government use their good offices to bring both countries, with which we have friendly relations, round the table to resolve the Kashmir issue through negotiations, and to bring to an end any prospect of a war as well as the suffering of the Kashmiri people?, he questioned. Summarising the debate, the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, said there are family ties on the issue he (Lord Hussain) has raised. “That issue is a pertinent and important one: he mentioned Kashmir and the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan”.
Fora such as the Commonwealth—he mentioned the United Nations as well—provide a huge opportunity for the United Kingdom to play its part in making sure those two countries, which share so much in terms of culture, community, faith and language, can join together and resolve something that ensures and upholds the rights of all citizens, irrespective of what region or part of the Commonwealth they belong to.