4th open debate on Kashmir to be held at Commons on September 24

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LONDON: The House of Commons, lower house of the British Parliament will witness fourth debate on the core issue of Kashmir on Thursday, September 24.

Labour Member of Parliament Ms Debbie Abrahams, Chairperson, All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir tabled the Early Day Motion (EDM) on January 21, 2020 and the debate was secured on March 26, 2020. The debate on Kashmir was postponed due to Covid-19 which has been rescheduled on September 24.

LONDON: Labour MP Debie Abrahams with Kashmiri leaders Raja Faheem Kayani (left) and Mohammad Ghalib (middle)

The following EDM will be debated on 24th September 2020:

“The House calls on the Government to use all diplomatic and economic measures at its disposal to influence the Indian and Pakistan Governments to ensure that democracy is respected and that the Kashmiri people are at the heart of any constitutional reform of the region, including respecting both the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, particularly UNSCR 47 which refers to the people of Jammu and Kashmir having the right to self-determination and the 1972 Simla Agreement which refers to the future of Jammu and Kashmir being determined by peaceful means and urges the Government to use all international fora to press for the rule of law in Kashmir to be upheld and human rights protected by lifting the telecommunications black out and allowing independent, international observers to the region as well as supporting the assistance of a UN Special Envoy for Kashmir in facilitating a peaceful and sustainable future for Kashmiris.” 

President of Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK) UK Raja Fahim Kayani, Mohammad Ghalib and other Kashmiri leaders while talking to ‘The Nation’ have commented that this debate will ignite the issue and will explain the nature of the imbroglio at the British Parliament urging the UK Government and lawmakers to exercise their influence over India and bring New Delhi at table for negotiations.

“We understand that the debate will boost the genuine cause of ‘oppressed’ Kashmiri brothers and sisters and holding the debate means that this issue has value and must be resolved according to UN resolutions and wishes of Kashmiri people”, they said.

Kashmiri leaders and organisations have started campaign of meeting with Parliamentarians and appeal them to participate in the debate in maximum number.

Ms Debbie Abrahams MP has tabled four EDMs on Kashmir since 2019.

TeK members & human rights activists across the UK have urged Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora to invite their MPs to attend the debate and “become the voice of voiceless people of J&K”. This will be the fourth debate on Kashmir in the House of Commons in the last 20 years.

It may be recalled that India denied entry to Debie Abrahams in February this year for criticising the Indian decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status in August last year. Debbie Abrahams said she was denied a standard e-visa at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport. Last August, Ms Abrahams wrote to the UK foreign secretary, saying the parliamentary group was “gravely concerned” about the decision to strip the disputed region of its special status, adding that it “betrayed the trust of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.