India on Wednesday slammed the UK’s Labour Party after it passed a resolution calling for international intervention in the Kashmir issue.
The UK’s Opposition Labour Party on Wednesday passed an emergency motion on Kashmir, calling for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to seek international observers to “enter” the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people.
The Kashmir motion, moved by the Labour Party, said that “a major humanitarian crisis is taking place in the Kashmir region” and several exchanges of fire across the Line of Control have taken place.
It spoke of “enforced disappearance of civilians, state-endorsed sexual violence of women by armed forces and the overall prevalence of human rights violations in the region that not only continues but has exasperated further in the past week”.
It spoke of the “house arrest/imprisonment of mainstream politicians and activists and restrictions on journalistic freedom” and “ongoing communications blackout causing disruption for medical agencies and families not knowing the safety of their relatives”.
The conference urged the Labour Party to ask party chief Jeremy Corbyn or ensure someone from the party is represented to attend the UNHRC to demand “restoration of basic human rights including the freedom of speech and communication, the lifting of curfews, and to allow the humanitarian aid organisation and international observers to enter the region”.
It also asked that Corbyn meet the High Commissioners of both India and Pakistan “to ensure there is mediation and restoration of peace and normality to prevent a potential nuclear conflict”.
It said that it accepts Kashmir as a disputed territory and that the people of the Valley should be given the right of self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions.
“The Labour Party to stand with the Kashmiri people fighting against occupation, this is vital as we stand for social justice and ethical foreign policy,” the resolution read,
The motion was moved by the Leyton and Wanstead Labour Party Public Group and seconded by the Nottingham East CLP.
Uzma Rasool, Leyton and Wanstead CLP delegate, managed to pass the emergency motion on Kashmir which was discussed in the Labour Party Annual Conference 2019 on Wednesday.
Labour MP Naz Shah also announced support for the emergency motion on Kashmir at the party level.
India strongly hit back saying that there was no question of engaging with Labour Party on Kashmir issue.
The Ministry of External Affairs termed the motion as “uninformed and unfounded” aimed at “pandering to vote-bank interests”.
“Government has noted certain developments at the Labour Party Conference on September 25 pertaining to the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. We regret the uninformed and unfounded positions taken at this event,” Raveesh Kumar said.
“Clearly, this is an attempt at pandering to vote-bank interests. There is no question of engaging with the Labour Party or its representatives on this issue,” he added.
India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and no third party has any role in it.
This is not the first time the Labour Party has spoken out on Kashmir issue.
UK’s leader of opposition Jeremy Corbyn had tweeted on August 11 that “the situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected and UN resolutions implemented.”
Corbyn’s tweet followed a letter from a British Labour MP who urged Johnson to take steps against the so-called “illegal” actions undertaken by India.
However, a Conservative lawmaker Bob Blackman has stressed that the Constitutional changes are an “internal matter” for India and also slammed the Labour Party for its remarks.
Blackman, in his letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s democratically elected government is “perfectly entitled to implement its own election manifesto which explicitly proposed these constitutional changes to Articles 370 and 35A”.
“Labour MPs should not be so surprised if an elected government keeps its promises. In making these changes it wishes to promote prosperity in the region by improving security and attracting inward investment in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Following this, British PM Boris Johnson said that the UK is monitoring the situation in Kashmir closely and wants India and Pakistan to find a “lasting political solution to the situation in Kashmir, in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”