‘South Asia threatens India’s aggressive policy

Pub: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 9:38 AM   |   Upd: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 10:49 AM

Sheersha Khobor Dot Com

Organised by British Bangladeshi Community Alliance

: A seminar on the situation in Kashmir following India’s revocation of article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution and its wider implications in the region was held on Monday 28th October 2019 at Committee Room 20 of the House of Commons.

  1. The seminar was chaired and hosted by Graham Jones MP, for Hyndburn and conducted by the Patron of the Organisation Councillor Mozaquir Ali. Secretary of the Organisation Mr Foyzun Nur welcomed the guests with his opening speech. Barrister Afzal Syed-Ali of Temple Court Chambers as president of BBCA presented brief situation analysis to set the context of the discussion highlighting the potential for regional fall out with example of the recent murder of a Bangladeshi university student Abrar Fahad for criticising recently signed Indo-Bangladesh water treaty. The hegemonistic behaviour of India in both its internal policies and in immediate neighbourhood is driven by a religio-centric political ideology that threatens other ethnic and religious minorities.
  2. Amongst the speakers were Mr. Ohid Ahmed, former deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets Council, Mr. Abdur Rashid Turabi, MLA AJK, Convenor of All Parties coordination council AJK, Julie Cooper MP (Shadow Health Minister), Afzal Khan MP, Debbie Abrahams MP Oldham East (Government Whip and Chair of All Party Committee on Kashmir) and Cllr Dale Ferrier of Burnley Borough Council. Number of other MPs and a member of the Lords sent apologies as they could not attend due to overlapping parliamentary commitments. Andrew Stephenson MP, minister for DFID joined after the seminar.
  3. Mr Turabi in his presentation of the reality of life under occupation like curfew for nearly 3 months described the economic reality that underlies the true hardship of the Kashmiri people. The mainstay of their economy, apple crop, failed and destroyed in orchards as nothing could move freely. Syed Ali Shah Jilani is under house arrest and no other family members are allowed in; he is effectively in solitary confinement in his own house and other detained leaders are kept in death cells in prisons in Delhi. The number of security personnel deployed in Kashmir has crossed 1.5 million and with the ideological orientation of the Modi government all the indicators of a potential genocide are present. The current lieutenant governor of Kashmir directly worked under Modi during the Gujarat massacre of Muslims. He highlighted that there was a mechanics in place for a peaceful resolution that failed and it is high time for the UNSC to consider Chapter 7 resolution.
  4. Mr Ohid Ahmed a former councillor and deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets said UK must consider some form of sanctions to influence India’s behaviour. There is a massive media suppression going on about reporting on Kashmir and the current delegation that is visiting Kashmir must highlight this.
  5. Afzal Khan MP said it is about common human decency to protest against India’s actions in Kashmir. The absence of Kashmir from British press is deplorable. UK with its historic connections to the Indian subcontinent cannot sit on the fence; it must come down on the side of humanity.
  6. Julie Cooper MP said she takes an interest in what is happening in Kashmir not because she has any preference or influenced; she takes the human rights violations issues as matters that undermine our common humanity. She looks forward to visiting the region and highlight the crisis and promote peaceful solutions. The nature in which Indian government has acted may create another Palestine re the land lights of Kashmiris and hence revocation of article 35A was particularly significant.
  7. Debbie Abrahams MP highlighted how the case of the Kashmiri plight failed to make it to the mainstream British media and compared how Hong Kong was well covered in contrast. She mentioned that a delegation of EU will be visiting soon and they will be meeting Pakistani, Indian and Kashmiri stakeholders. As chair of the Kashmir Caucus they will actively consider what Britain can do to promote a peaceful resolution and the current state of curfew is the most unacceptable state enforced on Kashmiri people. She advised to write to all the MPs on this issue and put the matters on record.
  8. Councillor Dale Ferrier said history is the harshest judge and Britain cannot avoid historic obligation which must demand a robust participation by Britain.
  9. In conclusion Mr Mozaquir Ali deputising for the Chair thanked all participants and highlighted the common thread of discussion that to allow Kashmir slip into oblivion will put the entire south Asian region in a conflict that will be far worse than anything so far happened in that region; two armies seeing eye ball to eye ball are nuclear armed and any breakout of conflict will engulf the entire south Asia.


Sheersha Khobor / A A

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