‘J-K integral part of India, Pak must vacate illegally occupied areas’
A UK lawmaker Robert John Blackwell has said that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, including parts “illegally controlled” by Pakistan, were integral part of India.india Updated: Feb 17, 2016 09:19 IST
A UK lawmaker has said that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, including parts “illegally controlled” by Pakistan, were integral part of India.
“State of Jammu and Kashmir in totality is part of India, an integral part of India and it needs to be reunited and should come under the dominion of India,” UK Member parliament and leader of ruling conservative party Robert John Blackman told reporters in Jammu on Tuesday during a meet the press function organized by the Press Club of Jammu.
Blackman said Pakistan must vacate the territory of Jammu and Kashmir “illegally occupied” by that country.
“The erstwhile ruler of Jammu and Kashmir had signed instrument of accession with India and given the control of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir to India, it is Pakistan which illegally occupied its territory which it should hand back to India through negotiation,” he said.
Blackman said that as both the countries were nuclear power, so there was no question of them going to war for Kashmir, but Pakistan must itself vacate the territory and hand it over to India.
The lawmaker from the Harrow East constituency in England said that in the past the Pakistan lobby had strong presence in the UK parliament but things have changed and people like him who are “friends of India” have been started speaking about India.
He said that the ties between India and the United Kingdom have grown stronger even since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the reins of power in India and his “historic visit” to UK last year has further strengthened the bond.
He said India has been a victim of terrorism originating from Pakistani soil and it should take measures to rein in the “forces” that spread terrorism in countries like India.
Asked why UK does not declare Pakistan a terrorist state, Blackman said he cannot speak on behalf of the UK government, but he was aware of the terrorist attacks that India faced and that originated from the Pakistani soil.
He said that UK government was aware of the terrorism being faced by India and it stands shoulder to shoulder with India to combat terrorism.
To a question on the ongoing debate of “intolerance” in India, Blackman said India was one of the safest countries for minorities in the world where people from all faiths get equal rights but said it was unfortunate that military had to be used to protect temples in Kashmir.
“India is one of the safest countries for minorities in the world, where minorities get equal rights and which unfortunately is not the case with Pakistan where every day minorities are being targeted attacked.
On a question on the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, he said that steps need to be taken so that the community is properly rehabilitated and given full protection.
“Kashmiri Pandit community has been the worst victim of terrorism,” Blackman said.
First Published: Feb 17, 2016 09:18 IST