February 2019 News

UK Rejects India's Request To Cancel Kashmir Event

1 February 2019
The Nation

London: The United Kingdom categorically refused India's request to cancel an event highlighting human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. The event is scheduled to be held at the British Parliament. According to India Today, Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that New Delhi had taken up the matter with the British government. 'We have taken it up with the UK very strongly. We hope that they will understand our objections to the proposed conference and take appropriate action,' said Kumar. 'As a friendly country and as a strategic partner, we hope that the government of the United Kingdom will address our concerns which we have explained to them on the proposed conference.' Blaming Pakistan for 'duplicity', the Indian official said that on one hand, Islamabad talked about peace but it was 'working together with forces which are pushing or fomenting anti-India sentiments'. The event is expected to be attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is scheduled to travel to the British capital on those days. Thrashing the hopes of the Indian government, the British government asserted that it will not interfere in the matter. 'The United Kingdom Members of the Parliament are independent of government,' said the British High Commission spokesperson in New Delhi. 'It is for the individual members to decide who they meet and for what purpose.' The meeting is being organised at the House of Commons by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan (APPG-Pakistan) that comprises MPs from the Conservative and Labour Party. It will be followed by an exhibition in London. The APPG-Pakistan's event aims to 'highlight the centrality of Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the grave human rights violations against the Kashmiri people, by India, which are being widely condemned and need to be immediately stopped,' said a FO Press release.