Speaking during questions in Parliament to Foreign Office Ministers, Imran urged the UK Government to condemn human rights abuses in Kashmir and support a referendum on Kashmir’s future.
Imran’s question to the Ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office follows several months of violence in Indian-administered Kashmir that has seen over one hundred people killed, hundreds blinded and thousands injured, with the majority of those injuries caused by excessive force and the use of pellet guns by the Indian Armed Forces, acts Imran has decried as human rights violations.
Despite these incidents of serious violence, it has emerged that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the international body with responsibility for overseeing claims of human rights violations, expressed a wish to visit both the Indian and Pakistani sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir, but has only received an invitation to do so from Pakistan.
As a result of this, Imran has declared following his question that a team from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should be granted immediate access to assess instances of human rights abuses and to report back to the United Nations High Commissioner.
Speaking on his question to the Government over Kashmir, Imran said:
“The people of Kashmir have endured yet more months of serious violence and repression with over one hundred people killed, hundreds blinded by pellets and thousands injured in a series of grave human rights abuses, and it is clear that this situation and cycle of violence cannot continue. The Government must now condemn this shocking abuse of human rights.
“Furthermore I believe that as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the UK has a serious role to play in this dispute. The only way forward is allowing the sons and daughters of Kashmir the opportunity to determine their own future.
“I am also deeply disturbed to see that a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights team has not been invited to the Indian-administered side of the Line of Control in Kashmir to investigate human rights abuses, and if any progress is to be made towards a peaceful solution that is best for all sides involved, such a team should have unconstrained access to the region to investigate and report.”