Mon, Feb 27, 2017 | updated 12:48 PM IST

Ahead of Theresa May's India visit, British MPs discuss Kashmir

Updated: Nov 06, 2016 19:46 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov. 6 (ANI): British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is arriving in India later in the night, might face confrontation regarding a couple of events in the Parliament, where British MPs raised the issue of Kashmir.

In the first event, Labour Party MP Jess Phillips, chaired a meeting in Parliament organised by Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, with guest speakers including president of Jamaat-e-Islami Abdur Rashid Turabi and former senior justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Wajihuddin Ahmed, to lobby Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, including Lord Ahmed for the interests of their comrades in Islamabad.

In another event, Labour MP Julie Cooper chaired a meeting organised by Misfar Hassan, a child psychiatrist working in the NHS (National Health Service), with chief co-ordinator at Jammu Kashmir Liberation Council Najib Afsar as the keynote speaker.

Cooper shared the chair with Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) international, diplomatic and political campaigns' head Azmat A. Khan and Misfer Hussan and JKLF UK Zone president Sabir Gul.

Many senior leaders from the JKLF, including general secretary Syed Tehseen Gilani attended the meet. The group objected to the UK government's stance that Kashmir is a matter for India and Pakistan to resolve. They were lobbying for the release of political prisoner Yasin Malik, the JKLF chairman. Apart from the usual Pakistani origin MPs, Yasmin Qureshi and Khalid Mahmood, as many as 40 British MPs were reported to be in attendance.

The answer to why the British MPs keep raising the issue of Kashmir in Westminster can only be pressure from their constituents, reports the Sunday Guardian.

During the 1960s and 1970s, a large number of Mirpuris settled in the UK Midlands and have developed a consolidated community that is championing the idea of "liberating" Kashmir.

The UK MPs are apparently succumbing to vote bank politics and embroiling themselves in an issue irrelevant to UK, which might hamper its relations with India.

The Kashmir issue has for long been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.

In the spirit of the three-part UN Resolution of August 1948 the governments of India and Pakistan agreed to creating and maintaining an atmosphere that would be favourable to further negotiations (removal of irregular troops) and the state of Jammu and Kashmir being restored as it existed at Independence in 1947, which means that Jammu and Kashmir will consist of the Northern Areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh.

Subject to the above being achieved the Government of India would ensure that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir restores law and order.

In the final part which is conditional on the above two parts, the future status of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people and in that end, both governments will enter into consultations to determine impartial conditions whereby free expression will be assured, such as a plebiscite.

The trouble is the two British Parliamentary meetings and Pakistan is only interested in the third part of the UN resolution, which is chronologically dependent on the first two parts being achieved.

Also while holding such sessions, UK MPs are meddling in an issue that is not theirs to tackle and also ignoring the historical subtleties of the ethnicities as well as Gilgit-Baltistan human rights. (ANI)

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