A Kashmiri boatman uses an oar to break the ice layer waters of Dal Lake after a snowfall, in Srinagar on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
A Kashmiri boatman uses an oar to break the ice layer waters of Dal Lake after a snowfall, in Srinagar on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

'Ignores current ground reality': India on UK parliament's Kashmir debate

The debate, organised by Labour’s Sarah Owen, included the participation of cross-party British MPs, many of whom have a large Kashmiri diaspora constituency base.
PTI, London
UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 04:07 PM IST

India has expressed its dismay at some of the parliamentarians who participated in a debate on Kashmir in the Houses of Parliament complex in London relying on "false assertions" and unsubstantiated allegations propagated by a "third country" – an apparent reference to Pakistan.

The debate, organised by backbench British MPs at Westminster Hall in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening, was entitled “Political situation in Kashmir” – terminology the Indian High Commission in London pointed out as problematic in itself.

“Regarding the reference to ‘Kashmir’ in the title: the need is felt to differentiate between the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India, and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (when the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir legally acceded to India in October 1947, this part was forcibly and illegally occupied by Pakistan),” the High Commission said in a statement.

“It was also noted that references to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, despite the volumes of authentic information available in the public domain – based on up to date and visible facts on the ground – ignored current ground reality and, instead chose to reflect false assertions of the kind promoted by a third country, such as unsubstantiated allegations of ‘genocide’, ‘rampant violence’ and ‘torture’,” it noted.

Responding to the debate on behalf of the UK government, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) minister Nigel Adams had reiterated the official stance that it is not for Britain to play any mediatory role in a bilateral India-Pakistan matter, even as he accepted there were human rights concerns on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

“The government’s policy [on Kashmir] remains stable, it’s unchanged. We continue to believe that this is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the situation that takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people… as laid out in the Simla Agreement,” said Adams, in his capacity as Minister for Asia.

“It’s not appropriate for the UK government to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator in this regard but it would be wrong to not acknowledge there are serious human rights concerns in both India-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. This has been confirmed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in his reports,” he said.

The minister also made a reference to the District Development Council (DDC) democratic elections held in the region in December last year, which Labour Party MP Barry Gardiner pointed out attracted the free and fair participation of over 50 per cent of the local electorate.

“The people of Kashmir deserve the opportunity to thrive and succeed, so more broadly we welcome the commitment that the Indian government has made to the economic and social development of India-administered Kashmir and we continue to seek further details of their plans,” added Adams.

The debate, organised by Labour’s Sarah Owen, included the participation of cross-party British MPs, many of whom have a large Kashmiri diaspora constituency base.

They raised concerns of alleged human rights violations and called on the UK government to seek access to the region for direct reports from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to be presented in the UK Parliament in future.

The Indian High Commission in London sought to highlight that since last year, a smart wi-fi project has enabled high-speed internet access in the region and that despite threats of terror attacks, challenging weather conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic, landmark DDC elections were concluded in December 2020.

“Since the administrative reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, it is well on the path of good governance and accelerated development. All administrative measures taken by the Government of India in Jammu and Kashmir are entirely an internal matter of India,” the Indian High Commission statement said.

“Regarding the reference to peace and stability of our region, it is reiterated that India stands ready to engage with Pakistan on all outstanding issues – including on Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the Shimla Agreement (1972) and the Lahore Declaration (1999) in an atmosphere free from terror, hostility and violence,” it noted.

The statement asserted that while it was not the policy of India to take “undue interest” in the internal discussions within a foreign Parliament, the High Commission of India continues to engage with all concerned – including the UK government and parliamentarians – to avoid “misperceptions and misinformation” by making authentic information about India available to all. PTI AK NSA AKJ NSA

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Joe Biden will take oath as the US President on January 20.(REUTERS)
Joe Biden will take oath as the US President on January 20.(REUTERS)

US to join Paris deal, lift Muslim travel ban

By Yashwant Raj, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 01:45 AM IST
Joe Biden will sign executive orders to get the US back to the Paris pact and rescind the travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries, which will be among roughly a dozen actions the President-elect will take on his first day in the White House.
Close
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia are seen in a Pobeda plane heading from Berlin to Moscow.(AFP)
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia are seen in a Pobeda plane heading from Berlin to Moscow.(AFP)

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny lands in Moscow after plane diverted

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:05 PM IST
Police detained several people at Vnukovo airport and cleared a crowd out of the terminal.
Close
US President-elect Joe Biden at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, US on January 16, 2021.(Reuters Photo )
US President-elect Joe Biden at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, US on January 16, 2021.(Reuters Photo )

Biden will wait for recommendation on sharing secrets with Trump

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:02 PM IST
Sue Gordon, who resigned in 2019, said any former president was a foreign intelligence target but Trump "might be unusually vulnerable to bad actors with ill intent."
Close
A policeman stands guard at the burnt Hindu temple in Karak district, Peshawar. On Dec 31, 2020, Hundreds of Muslims attacked and set fire to the temple. (AFP)
A policeman stands guard at the burnt Hindu temple in Karak district, Peshawar. On Dec 31, 2020, Hundreds of Muslims attacked and set fire to the temple. (AFP)

Hindu community leader demands protection for temple in Pakistan's Havelian

PTI, Islamabad
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:56 PM IST
Hindu community leader Haroon Sarab Dayal said the temple in Havelian city is an old structure and now the land mafia is out to destroy this heritage.
Close
US President-elect Joe Biden at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, US on January 16, 2021.(Reuters Photo )
US President-elect Joe Biden at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, US on January 16, 2021.(Reuters Photo )

In inaugural address, Joe Biden will appeal to national unity

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:33 PM IST
Providing a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the US illegally will be part of Biden's agenda, according to people briefed on his plans.
Close
Tim Gionet (L) who goes by the name "Baked Alaska" on the internet, talks with White Nationalist leader Richard Spencer.(File Photo / REUTERS)
Tim Gionet (L) who goes by the name "Baked Alaska" on the internet, talks with White Nationalist leader Richard Spencer.(File Photo / REUTERS)

Far-right personality 'Baked Alaska' arrested in Capitol riot probe

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:31 PM IST
FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller said in an affidavit filed in the case that Tim Gionet, aka Baked Alaska, streamed live for about 27 minutes from inside the Capitol.
Close
A coffin, part of a recent discovery from the Saqqara necropolis, is seen south of Cairo, Egypt January 17, 2021.(REUTERS)
A coffin, part of a recent discovery from the Saqqara necropolis, is seen south of Cairo, Egypt January 17, 2021.(REUTERS)

Egypt unveils 3000-year old coffins in latest archaeological discovery

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:18 PM IST
Officials are keen to show off newly discovered artefacts as they try to revive visitor numbers after the tourism industry received a painful blow during the coronavirus pandemic.
Close
Security officials have eyed Sunday as the first major flashpoint, as that is when the anti-government "boogaloo" movement made plans weeks ago to hold rallies in all 50 states. (Representative Image)
Security officials have eyed Sunday as the first major flashpoint, as that is when the anti-government "boogaloo" movement made plans weeks ago to hold rallies in all 50 states. (Representative Image)

Law enforcement officials brace for pro-Trump protests at state capitols

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:09 PM IST
More than a dozen states have activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed protests, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the US Capitol in Washington on January 6.
Close
Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia sit in the plane prior to flight to Moscow in the Airport Berlin Brandenburg in Schoenefeld, Germany.(AP)
Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia sit in the plane prior to flight to Moscow in the Airport Berlin Brandenburg in Schoenefeld, Germany.(AP)

Explained: Why Kremlin critic Navalny faces immediate arrest in Russia?

Written by Kunal Gaurav
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:01 PM IST
Navalny has been jailed several times over various charges, which the Russian leader has denounced as politically motivated.
Close
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte leaves the Parliament building in The Hague, Netherlands.(REUTERS)
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte leaves the Parliament building in The Hague, Netherlands.(REUTERS)

Dutch PM Mark Rutte and his entire cabinet quits over welfare scandal

AP, The Hague
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 09:53 PM IST
  • The Netherlands is the third European country thrown into political uncertainty this week in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Close
A worker holds a vial of the AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.(Bloomberg File Photo )
A worker holds a vial of the AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.(Bloomberg File Photo )

Brazil regulator to decide on emergency use of Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines

Reuters, Brasilia/sao Paulo
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 09:37 PM IST
Adding to urgency for vaccinations, a second wave of the outbreak in Brazil is snowballing as the country confronts a new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus.
Close
The withdrawal comes less than a month before Somalia is set to hold a national election. (Representative Image)(REUTERS)
The withdrawal comes less than a month before Somalia is set to hold a national election. (Representative Image)(REUTERS)

US military says its troop removal from Somalia is complete

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 09:36 PM IST
Some experts have warned that the withdrawal of an estimated 700 US military personnel comes at the worst possible time for Somalia, as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group improves its bomb-making skills and continues to attack military and civilian targets even in the capital, Mogadishu.
Close
The transport ministry said the ship had 12 crew members, including two Russians and 10 Ukrainians.(Representative Image )
The transport ministry said the ship had 12 crew members, including two Russians and 10 Ukrainians.(Representative Image )

Cargo ship sinks in the Black Sea; 3 dead, 6 rescued

AP, Istanbul
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 09:00 PM IST
Emergency workers saved at least six crew members and reached the bodies of two others,
Close
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 file photo, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks as she and President-elect Joe Biden introduce their nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts at The Queen theater, in Wilmington, Del. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, a history-making event in which the first Black, South Asian and female vice president will take her oath of office from the first Latina justice. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)(AP)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 file photo, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks as she and President-elect Joe Biden introduce their nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts at The Queen theater, in Wilmington, Del. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, a history-making event in which the first Black, South Asian and female vice president will take her oath of office from the first Latina justice. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)(AP)

Kamala Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday ahead of Inauguration Day

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 08:19 PM IST
Harris has already started the process by notifying California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Close
A nurse administers the Covid-19 vaccine to a frontline worker after the virtual launch of vaccination drive at a Hospital in Kolkata.(ANI)
A nurse administers the Covid-19 vaccine to a frontline worker after the virtual launch of vaccination drive at a Hospital in Kolkata.(ANI)

Israel Prison Service to start vaccinating inmates, including Palestinian ones

AFP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 08:16 PM IST
The Jewish state faced harsh criticism when Public Security Minister Amir Ohana said Palestinian prisoners would be the last to get innoculated.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP