APPKG Chairperson concerned about rising tensions in South Asia
ISLAMABAD-:Member of British Parliament and Chairperson of the All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG), Debbie Abrahams, has expressed concern over the rising tensions in South Asia preceding last August’s developments in Kashmir and more recently the movement of Indian and Chinese troops at Pangong Lake and in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
Debbie Abrahams in a letter addressed to the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, wrote that the role of the APPKG was to support dispassionately and without political prejudice the Kashmiri people in their pursuit of their human rights and a sustainable, lasting peace in the region, Kashmir Media Service reported.
She said in addition to the 2018 and 2019 United Nations reports on human rights violations in Kashmir, she and the APPG officers are concerned about rising tensions in the region.
“We are very concerned about military hostilities between India and China, including reported casualties on both sides and the recent deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers following clashes at the Line of Actual Control in the Galwan Valley. China has not yet confirmed how many of its personnel died or injured but it has been reported in some media outlets that this is in excess of 40 Chinese soldiers. The deaths are the first at the disputed border area in at least 45 years,” Debbie Abrahams added.
In her letter, she informed the UK prime minster that in May, the Indian and Chinese armies were also involved in clashes on the border in the north-eastern state of Sikkim. Meanwhile Nepal, citing Indian cartography published in the last few months, has objected to the Indian government’s alleged encroachments of Nepalese territory, she added.
She said at the UN Security Council meetings China requested last August following the revocation of Article 370, and a subsequent meeting this January both of which failed to propose a positive way forward to the unilateral action taken by India. “We also regret the United Kingdom’s complacency and inaction, as well as the international community as a whole, which has failed to prevent the crisis of three nuclear powers at loggerheads with each other over land, and the Kashmiri people seemingly forgotten,” she maintained.
Debbie Abrahams in her letter said that it was imperative that the international community and the UK play their part. “There are rising calls from the region for an independent third-party arbitrator. A road map for the future of all regions of Kashmir based on international law and with the Kashmiri people at the heart of negotiations must be developed to build a lasting and sustainable peace in the region. Given the urgency, I would be grateful for an early meeting so that we may discuss the UK Government’s response to this crisis,” she added.