It is only the Indian Army and the sound footing of the Indian democracy that has stopped the region of Jammu & Kashmir from resembling Taliban occupied Afghanistan said British Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman during a discussion on a motion on the Indian union territory of Jammu & Kashmir in UK Parliament.
The debate proposal was tabled by Parliamentarian Debbie Abrahams and Pakistan-origin MP Yasmin Qureshi in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
Speaking in the debate in the House of Commons, Pakistan sympathiser British Labour MP Tahir Ali and Imran Hussain called upon the UK to take action against India by barring the Indian High Commissioner from Parliament.
Hussain said the UK and other countries needed to speak up and end their silence because of the military occupation of Kashmir.
Claims were destroyed by Imran Hussain’s fellow Labour MP Barry Gardiner. He even pointed out the terrorist camps that have been nurtured by Pakistan to destabilize the Kashmir region.
“Over the years Pakistan has harboured Taliban leaders and the ISI, their security services, provided other forms of support to them and to other terrorist organisations.”
The Minister for Asia in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Amanda Milling, responded to the debate on Thursday by reiterating the UK government’s unchanged stance on Kashmir as a bilateral issue.
Further, the British government expressed its dismay at some of the language used by participating MPs, specifically Pakistani-origin or Pakistan sympathisers.
The Indian High Commission in London condemned the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and highlighted Kashmir’s status as an integral part of India.
“As on previous occasions, the High Commission of India reiterates that any assertion made in any forum on a subject related to an integral part of India needs to be duly substantiated with authentic verifiable facts.”
However, in the whole debate hearts were won when Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman spoke about India’s democratic credentials.
He flagged the completion of local elections in Kashmir last December despite pandemic-related adversities.
“We should remember that while Kashmir Valley may be probably Muslim (dominated), Jammu is predominantly Hindu and Ladakh predominantly Buddhist. And the fact is, historically persecuted religious minorities of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, women and children have unfortunately suffered in the Valley.”
Blackman added that it is because of the Indian military that the region of Jammu and Kashmir has not resembled Taliban-occupied Afghanistan as yet.
“It is only the Indian Army and the sound footing of the Indian military democracy that has stopped the region of Jammu & Kashmir resembling Taliban occupied Afghanistan … the region is legally and rightfully an integral part of the Republic of India.”
British MPs during the debate raised concerns on the terror attacks in Kashmir by Pakistan based terror groups such as Jaish e Muhammad, Lashkar e Tayyiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.
The key person behind this debate, Debbie Abrahams was deported from India for travelling to the country on an invalid visa.
It was also highlighted that her organisation APPG on Kashmir (APPGK) allegedly received money from Pakistan Government between £31,501 (Rs 29.7 lakh) and £33,000 (Rs 31.2 lakh) on February 18, 2020, for a visit to Pakistan.