Kashmir dispute resolution dominates Foreign Affairs committee debate at British parliament

LONDON – Ending illegal occupation of Kashmir by India dominated a debate at Foreign Affairs Committee at the British parliament  with participants questioning double standards on human rights and rule of law – a step in the right direction, said a Kashmiri diaspora leader.

“The participants became voice of the suppressed and oppressed people of Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIoJK) during the important debate in the parliament,” said Fahim Kayani, leader of Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK.

Lauding Liam Byrne MP and prominent Pakistani public policy expert and journalist Mosharraf Zaidi, Kayani said: “the participants at the Foreign Affairs Committee debate rose to the occasion for bringing to fore illegal occupation of Kashmir and the dire need to let Kashmiris exercise their democratic right of self-determination.”

The British parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday hosted a panel discussion titled “Implementing the Integrated Review: Tilt to the Indo-Pacific” where Zaidi told the participants that there is a “bleeding soar” in South Asia and “its name is Kashmir.”

Zaidi brought to fore the significance of non-resolution of Kashmir and how it affects any bigger problem in South and Central Asian regions.

“India and occupation of Kashmir is source of that set of multiple problems and what risk(s) it portends for the tilt to the Indo-Pacific,” Zaidi explained, adding non-resolution of Kashmir was a huge disadvantage to the bilateral relations between India and any other country, particularly the UK.

Kayani said the participants rightly pointed out the double standards of the western capitals.

“Rule of law applies to all comity of nations members and no mind in right senses will accept pick and choose policy to fulfil ones desired interests as is in case of India which has been given a free pass over its illegal military occupation of Kashmir,” Kayani said.

“The British lawmaker Liam Byrne and Mr Zaidi has spoken transcending national interests and bloc-led politics… if Kashmir, which is an international dispute, does not get desired support from the same powers that call of rule of law and support to international liberal order, then this is all façade with no real intention of respect for basic universal rights including right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter,” said the Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK president.

Kayani called on the British government to pay heed to the recommendations made during the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee debate. “It is in the national interest of the UK to confront India and hold it accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity its occupying forces commit in IIoJK,” Kayani said.