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Monday, 31 October 2016

Kashmiri delegation take up the Kashmir issue with Labour shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry

Labour Party asked to review its foreign policy on Kashmir

London 31 October, 2016: A Kashmiri delegation lead by JKLF-UK president, Sabir Gul, met with the Labour Party’s newly appointed Shadow Foreign  Minister, Emily Thornberry, in her London office, and  discussed with her the possibility of reviewing the party  policy on Kashmir and its support for the independence  movement and to call for the international intervention to  curb the growing human rights violations taking place on daily basis in the Indian occupied territory.  Besides  JKLF president, the Kashmiri delegation consisted of the  president of the J&K Liberation League, Councillor  Misfar Hussan, President of J&K Freedom Movement,  Councillor Ghulam Hussain, head of the British Kashmiri
Women Association, Rana Shama Nazir, and Head of JKLF’s  International Political and Diplomatic Campaigns, Prof Azmat
A. Khan.

This followed the JKLF meeting with the UK’s Foreign and  Commonwealth (FCO) head last week, where UK government  silence over the recent uprising was questioned. Expressing  dissatisfaction with the current UK government attitude  towards the gross human rights violations in Kashmir,  JKLF’s Azmat Khan explained that there was a need for the  UK Labour Party to review its foreign policy as  millions of Kashmiri and Pakistani voters in the country  looked towards Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership  to rebalance the gap between apathy and pro-active conflict  resolution approach which was very much needed.  Other  members of the delegation explained how they were looking forward to a future Labour government which would be able to  undo some of the injustices around the world including  Kashmir, where 20 million people have waited for 70 years to  undo the mess left behind by the British colonial raj. They  expressed concerns that UK ministers were more interested in  bilateral trade with India at the cost of human rights  issues and Prime Minister, Teresa May’s visit to India on  6th November would be used by India as an endorsement of its  brutal repression in Kashmir, which is largely hidden from  international spot light because of Syrian conflict. The JKLF leaders underlined the consequential fallout in Kashmir  if the international community did not take timely measures to help resolve the Kashmir conflict.

The shadow  foreign secretary raised a number of questions regarding the  Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan,  Ladakh and Siachin  territories and asked about the political and legal status  of the two assemblies on both sides of the divided Kashmir.

The Kashmiri delegation explained how secret service  agencies undertook a vetting process before candidates were  allowed to stand for local elections and then compelled to  take oath of allegiance towards a country named as an  occupier by the UN, which was the reason why  pro-independence movement leaders were against participating  in such electoral processes.

They pointed to historical  electoral fraud and the bitter claims and counter claims  between India and Pakistan which left little choice for the  pro-independence Kashmiri leadership exercise their right to  freedom of speech and freedom of movement.

 It was decided that a follow up meeting would be organised  to look at Kashmiri demands and to address the concerns of  the Kashmiri Diaspora in the UK at a future date.

For further details please contact

Shakeel Mirza Spokesman JKLF UK Chapter.


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