Statement on Kashmir 15 August 2019

I am concerned about the ongoing situation in Kashmir. I have constituents who have families in Kashmir, Pakistan and India affected by this development. The unilateral decision taken by the Government of India to revoke Article 370 will only serve to increase tensions in the region and take us ever further away from the peaceful, political settlements that the people of Kashmir need.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has adopted several resolutions over Kashmir, including one that calls upon both sides to “refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation.” The violation of UN resolutions is unacceptable.

With the region being cut off from the world in a communications blackout in which phones and internet are blocked, many of my constituents with Kashmiri heritage are terrified about the safety of their families and loved ones.

The UK Government is well-placed to engage with both India and Pakistan and must do all that it can to help de-escalate tensions within the region with a view to facilitating a lasting political solution which protects the human rights of the Kashmiri people and respects their right to have a say over their own future.