May 2007 News

Final vote on Kashmir report today

23 May 2007
The Dawn

London: The Kashmir peace process will proceed in spite of, and not because of, a Liberal Democrat authored report on the region due to be voted on in the European Parliament on Thursday. Labour Euro MP Richard Howitt, speaking in advance of the final vote on the divisive Kashmir report in the European Parliament, has branded the report as “a lost opportunity to promote goodwill and peace”, and has stated that the final version marks only a satisfactory conclusion to what began as “a bitter and biased” Lib Dem report on Kashmir. Labour Euro MPs have secured changes in key sections of the text, a statement released by the office of Mr Howitt said. Richard Howitt MEP Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson stated “We have sought and have secured extensive amendment to this fundamentally flawed report. The initial draft exposed a blatant ignorance of the issues, the reality on the ground in Kashmir and a serious lack of consultation. “The initial report actually threatened progress in Kashmir, calling for sanctions to be imposed, seeking to overrule UN mandates and even casting blame for the massive earthquake in the region.“What could have been a historic opportunity for the European Parliament to proudly back the fragile peace process and support the confidence building measures, has instead been a damage limitation exercise to overturn Lib Dem bias. We have sought to transform this report into one which is truly balanced and fair.”


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