Questioning the Foreign Office Minister on Kashmir

This week, as the Senior Vice Chair of the All Party Group on Kashmir, I kept up pressure on the Government to take decisive action on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and seek a lasting resolution to the conflict.

In my Foreign Office Question in the House of Commons, I highlighted the recent escalation in tensions on either side of the Jammu-Kashmir line of control and the human rights violations that have been consistently reported and are of global concern. Appreciating that a lasting resolution will be down to India and Pakistan, I asked Foreign Office Minister, Hugo Swire MP, on whether he would be discussing these issues with Prime Minister Modi on his visit to the UK next month, and what, specifically, would he be asking.

I welcome the Minister’s recognition of the importance of Kashmir and Jammu to many people in the UK.  As the longest running unresolved border dispute in the world, it is only right that the Government are held accountable for what they have done to try and bring about a peaceful, negotiated solution.  However, I am disappointed that the Minister gave only the vaguest of assurances on whether the Foreign Secretary would be raising Kashmir with the Indian Prime Minister and offered no specifics at all about concrete actions the UK would be taking to help bring about a lasting peace.  The international community including Great Britain have a role to enable and support this; I will continue to press the Government to do more.

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