British Conservative lawmaker Bob Blackman, who has been speaking in favour of New Delhi’s decision to revoke Article 370, has now stated that India has a sovereign right over the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Asserting that the entire Jammu And Kashmir is part of India, he has called on Islamabad to leave Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Addressing a UK-based Kashmiri Pandit gathering organised in London on Saturday, the Conservative Party MP countered the Pakistani government’s plan to move a UN resolution in the wake of India’s August 5 decision to scrap provisions of Article 370 and end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The entirety of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is part of sovereign India, and people that ask for UN resolution to be implemented ignore the first resolution, which is that Pakistani military forces should leave Kashmir to re-unite the state,” Mr Blackman said at the “Balidan Divas” or Day of Sacrifice event held in London.
Conservative MP Bob Blackman had earlier stressed that the Constitutional changes are an “internal matter” for India.
Blackman in a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that “there is a widely respected convention that we do not interfere in the domestic affairs of a third country, especially a long-standing friend and ally like India”.
A spat among the British parliamentarians had started after the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that the situation in the region was “disturbing”.
Corbyn’s tweet followed after a letter from a British Labour MP who urged Johnson to take steps against the so-called “illegal” actions undertaken by India.
In response to the provocative letter by the Labour MP, Blackman stated, “Whilst not wishing to break this convention, it appears very strange that Labour MPs are criticising the Indian Government for equalising the rights of all its citizens.”
Blackman, in his letter, also 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”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacting to Blackman’s letter had said that the UK wants India and Pakistan to find a “lasting political solution to the situation in Kashmir, in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
On August 5, India revoked special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
(With PTI inputs)