Indian Govt Condemns 'Abuse' Aimed At PM Modi in UK Parliament Debate on Kashmir
Pakistani-origin Labour Party MP Naz Shah allegedly attacked PM Modi while speaking about the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Indian High Commission in London condemned a motion on "Human rights in Kashmir" tabled by Members of Parliament from the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for a debate in the House of Commons, PTI reported.
Opposition Labour Party MP Debbie Abrahams opened the debate, which saw the participation of over 20 cross-party MPs on both sides, and spoke about her February 2020 visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
"The Pakistani government allowed us unfettered access... we used our meetings to ask pointed questions related to human rights issues highlighted in United Nations reports," she said, adding that the debate was only speaking in favour of human rights and was not pro or anti any country. "Kashmiris must be at the heart of a trilateral peacebuilding process."
A minister from the Indian High Commission in London later condemned an alleged attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate made by Pakistani-origin Labour MP Naz Shah, who was speaking on the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"It is with sadness that the High Commission of India notes that an august institution of a fellow democracy has been misused today to level abuse against the elected leader of the largest practising democracy in the world," the minister said.
"As on previous occasions, the High Commission of India reiterates that any assertion made in any forum on a subject related to an integral part of India needs to be duly substantiated with authentic verifiable facts," the minister added.
The debate was initially scheduled for March 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic lockdown.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner said, "Over the years, Pakistan has harboured Taliban leaders and the ISI, their security services, provided other forms of support to them and other terrorist organisations."
Conservative Party MP Theresa Villiers said India was fully capable of investigating alleged human rights.
"As a democracy where religious minorities have full constitutional protections and which places great value on the respect for the rule of law, I believe that India's courts and institutions are well capable of properly investigating alleged human rights abuses," said Villiers.
Meanwhile, Amanda Milling, the Minister for Asia in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, on Thursday responded to the debate by saying it is not for the UK to come up with a solution to the bilateral Kashmir issue.
"The government takes the situation in Kashmir very seriously, but it's for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political solution, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. It's not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to act as a mediator," said Milling.
(With inputs from PTI)
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