London, August 06, 2019 (PPI-OT): Debbie Abrahams, British Member of Parliament and head of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPGK), in a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, increased tensions in South Asia and use of cluster munitions on unarmed civilians by India.
Debbie Abrahams in his letter addressed to Antonio Guterres wrote: “I am writing to you as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPGK) in the British Parliament.”
The APPGK is a cross-party group of MPs and Peers and has Parliamentarians of both Pakistani and Indian heritage.
“We are gravely concerned at the announcement by Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir is to be removed following a Presidential Order.
As you will be aware, Article 370 allows the state to have its own constitution, a separate flag and independence over all matters except foreign affairs, defence and communications,” he said.
“We are also concerned about the increased tensions in the area and the movement of thousands of additional paramilitary troops into Indian-controlled Kashmir as well as reports of the use of cluster munitions on unarmed civilians. If this proves true, this would be a violation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and international humanitarian law,” he argued.
“Both the UK and Germany changed their travel advice for visitors to Kashmir over the weekend and thousands of tourists were asked to leave the area, following the cancellation of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage.”
“The APPGK has repeatedly reiterated our commitment to support a process of peace and reconciliation in Kashmir, on both sides of the line of control. The unilateral decision made by the Indian government to remove Article 370 betrays the trust of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, dating back to the accession of 1947, and threatens to escalate tensions in the region even further. We are also concerned that it may contravene international law.”
“Last year’s UN report on the Human Rights Situation in Kashmir on both sides of the line of control and July 2019’s update found “serious human rights violations and patterns of impunity in Indian-Administered Kashmir ….” This new action by India is most unwelcome given this and the current tensions.
“We would be grateful if you would let us know what assessment the UN has made of the legality of India’s actions in light of UN resolutions on preserving the status of Kashmir; whether the UN will consider calling for a moratorium on India’s action for a democratic process to enable the citizens who will be affected by this unilateral action to have their say and what discussions the UN has had with the Indian government regarding their unilateral decision to potentially revoke Article 370? We also believe it would be pertinent to send international observers and would be grateful if you would consider the United Nation’s role in this,” Debbie said. Given the urgency of this situation, we hope to hear from you as soon as possible,” he added.
Meanwhile, Debbie Abrahams also wrote a letter to Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ruchi Ghanashyam saying the unilateral decision made by the Indian government to remove Article 370 betrays the trust of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and threatens to escalate tensions in the region even further.
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549