Amidst social media clash between British parliamentarians on India’s decision to scrap the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir, a Conservative lawmaker has stressed that the Constitutional changes are an “internal matter” for India.
Bob Blackman said in a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “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”.
The spat among the British parliamentarians started after the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn tweeted on Sunday 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.”
“Surely such a step should be welcomed in any democracy,” the lawmaker said.
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”.
“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.
In an unprecedented move, Indian Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the United States also said that it was “closely” observing the events in Jammu and Kashmir and urged all stakeholders to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control (LoC).
However, the US has stated that there is no change in its policy on Kashmir.
The US policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is up to the two countries to decide on the pace and scope of the talks on the issue.