James Shera, other Christian leaders criticise revoking of Kashmir articles

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RUGBY: Councillor Dr. James Shera, former Mayor of Rugby has condemned the move by Indian government to revoke Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and also Article 35-A which prohibits property rights for non-Kashmiris.

The move also includes the proposal to separate Ladakh from the rest of Kashmir. This would lead to division of Kashmir into two separate parts.

In a statement issued here on Monday, the same day when Indian Government implemented this decision, he said that this is in complete disregard of the indigenous Kashmiri people’s rights and aspirations. The step will bring about material change to the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir under Indian occupation. Such a move is a blatant violation of the UNSC resolutions, which categorically forbids any material change till the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions on Kashmir.

“Let us not forget that Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute with un-implemented UN Security Council resolutions which call for the Kashmiris right to self determination under a UN supervised plebiscite”, he added.

Dr. Shera said: “This is a regressive step and could push the sub-continent into confrontation and eventually war. We need a peaceful solution to all the problems, including Kashmir, between the neighbours. The Christian community in Pakistan and the UK is praying for peace and opposes any unilateral steps which could endanger peace. At this difficult hour, we stand in solidarity with the Government and the Agencies of Pakistan.’
The statement was endorsed by the UK Pakistani Christian leaders including: Dr Peter David, Councillor Morris Johns, Mr Qamar Rafique, Reverend John Bosco, Bishop Yousaf Nadeem Bhinder, Mr Michael Massey and Mr Samson Javed. 

Councillor Dr James Shera is former Mayor of Rugby and has been awarded MBE, S.Pak (Sitara-e-Pakistan) for his dedicated efforts for the community cohesion, unity and tranquillity.