New Delhi/New York: India on Wednesday termed a motion on Kashmir passed by Britain's Labour Party at its annual conference as "uninformed and unfounded" and aimed at pandering to vote bank interests. India also refused to engage with the Labour Party or its representatives on this issue.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in a statement, said: "Government has noted certain developments at the Labour Party Conference on 25 September pertaining to the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. 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."
The Kashmir motion, moved by the Labour Party, said that "a major humanitarian crisis is taking place in the Kashmir region" and several exchanges of fire across the Line of Control have taken place. It spoke of "enforced disappearance of civilians, state-endorsed sexual violence of women by armed forces and the overall prevalence of human rights violations in the region that not only continues but has exasperated further in the past week".
It spoke of the "house arrest/imprisonment of mainstream politicians and activists and restrictions on journalistic freedom" and "ongoing communications blackout causing disruption for medical agencies and families not knowing the safety of their relatives". The conference urged the Labour Party to ask party chief Jeremy Corbyn or ensure someone from the party is represented to attend the UNHRC to demand "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".
It also asked that Corbyn meet the High Commissioners of both India and Pakistan "to ensure there is mediation and restoration of peace and normality to prevent a potential nuclear conflict". "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 Labour Party to stand with the Kashmiri people fighting against occupation, this is vital as we stand for social justice and ethical foreign policy".
The motion was moved by the Leyton and Wanstead Labour Party Public Group and seconded by the Nottingham East CLP. Uzma Rasool, Leyton and Wanstead CLP delegate, managed to pass the emergency motion on Kashmir which was discussed in the Labour Party Annual Conference 2019 on Wednesday. Labour MP Naz Shah also announced support for the emergency motion on Kashmir at the party level. According to reports, the Indian High Commission in London cancelled a dinner with the Labour Friends of India on Tuesday night in response to the emergency motion on Kashmir at the party conference.
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