Nation special report
LONDON: In wake of ongoing activities at national and international level aimed to resolve the outstanding issue of Kashmir to ensure the amicable settlement and lasting peace in South Asia, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson being the supreme authority of the country has categorically declared the policy of his government on this imbroglio.
Responding to a query from Steve Baker, Conservative Member of Parliament from Wycombe on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said that India and Pakistan will have to resolve this issue themselves and the UK is not in a position to prescribe a solution.
Steve Baker, referring the prevailing situation in Jammu & Kashmir, said that thousands of British people in Wycombe have family and friends on one or both sides of the line of control in Kashmir. With so many serious allegations of human rights abuses being made, do the Government accept that this is not merely some foreign policy issue to be dealt with by others, but that it is an issue of the most immediate and profound concern in Wycombe and in towns across the UK?
Taking the matter himself, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he is thankful to him (Steve Baker) and he is absolutely right not just that this matters very much to him and to his constituents, but that the welfare of communities in Kashmir is of profound concern to the UK Government.
“He also knows, of course, that it is the long-standing position of the UK Government that the crisis in Kashmir is fundamentally a matter for India and Pakistan to resolve and, alas, since we were there at the very beginning of this crisis, he will understand that, for long-standing reasons, it is not for us as the UK to prescribe a solution in that dispute” Boris Johnson made it clear.
It is pertinent to mention here that a motion on Kashmir issue was approved by Buckingham County Council and later endorsed by Wycombe Council recently. The motion was proposed in Buckingham Council by Steven Lambert and seconded by Martin Tett on September 26.
The motion reads “This Council notes serious concerns amongst thousands of residents of Kashmiri heritage across Buckinghamshire, about widely reported recent human rights abuses and their recent escalation in Jammu Kashmir.
“Council believes that Buckinghamshire, with its diverse citizenry and strong economy, it has a key role to play in maintaining good links within our diverse communities”.
The motion referred that recent events have caused distress and concern at the actions taking place in Kashmir, which have seen curfews, internet and social media crackdowns, as well as power outages, making communication very difficult to loved ones and that these events are directly affecting the well-being of Buckinghamshire residents of Kashmiri heritage.
The motion pointed out that the Council is also mindful of its key statutory responsibility to promote community cohesion within and between different communities in Buckinghamshire.
“The Council therefore acknowledges the United Nations Security Council Resolution 39, adopted on January 20, 1948, which offered to assist in the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir Conflict by setting up a commission of three members; one to be chosen by India, one to be chosen by Pakistan and the third to be chosen by the other two members of the commission”.
This Council therefore calls upon the Leader to:
• Write to all our local Members of Parliament to make known the concerns of local Buckinghamshire residents of South East Asian heritage. This has to be done in a manner that does not seek to heighten tensions between different communities within the county and in particular respects the human rights of all concerned.
• Ask that the MPs listen to those concerns and raise them, as appropriate, with the Foreign Secretary.
After completing the required process, a general meeting was held at the residence of Wycombe Councillor Mehboob Bhatti and discussed the issue further. It was generally agreed that the adopted motion should be handed over to Steve Baker MP with a request that on the basis of this motion, he should raise the issue in the Parliament.
Mr. Steve Baker willingly accepted the motion and suggestion and promised that he will do his best in this regard and as has been doing for a long time. Subsequently, he asked the government at the Commons on October 30 that what steps are being taken in this matter and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson briefed the House about the government’s policy.