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Kathua rape case: UK reiterates Modi stand that justice will be done

The issue was raised by Nazir Ahmed a day before Modi is due to arrive here for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

world Updated: Apr 16, 2018 22:57 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Lord Nazir Ahmed.
Lord Nazir Ahmed.(via Twitter)

The Theresa May government on Monday reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise that justice will be done in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, when the matter was raised by a Pakistani-origin member of the House of Lords.

The issue was raised by Nazir Ahmed a day before Modi is due to arrive here for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Ahmed, who was at the forefront of an anti-India demonstration on January 26 outside the Indian mission here, will reportedly lead another protest on April 18.

Ahmed, a non-affiliated member who wanted the UK government to take up the issue of self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the northeast, mentioned the Kathua rape case while asking how Britain could help bring her assailants and those in other cases to justice.

Deborah Stedman-Scott, the government whip, said Modi had promised justice in the Kathua case. She also reiterated the stand that “it is not for the United Kingdom to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator…it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting and peaceful resolution, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people”.

Navnit Dholakia (Liberal Democrats) said Ahmed's suggestion about self-determination in India was “most unhelpful”, and asked how it would help Pakistan if the idea was taken to its logical conclusion in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh. “It will make this country most ungovernable,” he added.

Referring to concerns expressed about human rights in India, Stedman-Scott noted: “India has a strong democratic framework which guarantees human rights, but we do acknowledge that it faces numerous challenges relating to its size and development when it comes to enforcing fundamental rights enshrined within its Constitution and wider law.”