India on Wednesday condemned the United Kingdom’s Opposition Labour Party for passing a resolution demanding international intervention in the Kashmir matter, PTI reported. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar described the Labour Party’s move as “pandering to vote-bank interests”.
A curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, when the Indian government decided to scrap special status for the state under Article 370 of the Constitution. Restrictions have been eased in many parts of the Valley since then.
“Government has noted certain developments at the Labour Party Conference on September 25 pertaining to the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir,” Kumar said. “We regret the uninformed and unfounded positions taken at this event. Clearly, this is an attempt at pandering to vote-bank interests. There is no question of engaging with the Labour Party or its representatives on this issue.”
India maintains that the conflict in Kashmir is its internal matter. However, the resolution the Labour Party passed on Wednesday calls for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to seek international observers to “enter” Kashmir and seek self-determination for its people, PTI reported.
“The conference urges the Labour Party to ask Jeremy Corbyn or ensure someone from the Labour Party is represented to attend the UNHRC [United Nations Human Rights Council] to demand the restoration of basic human rights including the freedom of speech and communication, the lifting of curfews, and to allow the humanitarian aid organisation and international observers to enter the region,” the resolution reads.
The resolution, tabled on Tuesday, also calls for Corbyn to meet the high commissioners of both India and Pakistan for “mediation” in the Kashmir conflict, and restoration of peace and normalcy to prevent a nuclear war. “Accept that Kashmir is a disputed territory and the people of Kashmir should be given the right of self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions,” the resolution reads. “The Labour Party to stand with the Kashmiri people....this is vital as we stand for social justice and ethical foreign policy.”
It notes that even as India and Pakistan are speaking about the Kashmir matter at the United Nations, there is a “humanitarian crisis” in the state and the two countries’ armies are exchanging fire at the border.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi demanded in a letter to the UN that it hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned of the possibility of war breaking out due to the situation in the state.
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