London, May 16 (KMS): Judith Cummins, Member of UK Parliament from the Labour Party, has expressed serious concern over the human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir, particularly since August, last year, when India revoked the special status of the territory.

Judith Cummins in a statement issued in London said, “I firmly believe that we must redouble our efforts towards securing a safe and peaceful future for Kashmir. The United Kingdom must play its part in achieving this. I have said before that I believe the British Government must play an active role within the international community in securing a peaceful solution through facilitating genuine dialogue between India and Pakistan. In this respect, I do not believe that Kashmir is solely a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.”

The MP said she also fully backs the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as mandated by the UN Security Council resolutions. I will support all peaceful and diplomatic efforts to facilitate this right to self-determination, she added.

Judith Cummins said she wrote to the Foreign Secretary on the 8th August 2019 to raise the Kashmir issue. “I firmly believe that Labour must stand against human rights abuses wherever they occur and in the case of Kashmir we must be vocal in our support for those suffering,” she said.

The Labour MP said that in February, this year, she visited Kashmir as part of a delegation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir to understand more about the situation on the ground. She said that during the visit, she met with the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, and visited the Line of Control at Chakothi. She also visited the Gulpur Refugee camp in Kotli to hear directly from displaced people.

Judith Cummins said that she also had a number of meetings in Islamabad including with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider, as well as officials from the British Embassy. “I also note the recent comments from Haroon Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, following Sir Keir Starmer’s letter on 8th May 2020 to the MCB clarifying the position set out in an earlier letter to the Labour Friends of India.

She also welcomed the clarification from Keir Starmer that the Labour Party was committed to supporting the UN resolutions on the rights of the Kashmiri people. This issue is one of great importance for many Muslims in Britain, and it is imperative that a lasting, peaceful solution is sought to end the ongoing conflict in Kashmir, she added.

The MP said, “I look forward to working with Keir Starmer and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Lisa Nandy, to ensure the voices of Britain’s Kashmiri community are heard.” Judith Cummins said that she would continue to speak up for the rights of the people of Kashmir in all forums, including within the Labour Party.

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