Yesterday’s debate on Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent, which I moved and in which I focussed on Kashmir, may be found here:
Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): I beg to move,
That this House has considered the issue of Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent.
I am extremely grateful to the Backbench Business Committee for making this debate possible. My predecessor, Paul Goodman, took this issue extremely seriously and I am sure that had this mechanism been available he would have called such a debate. I am also extremely grateful to the Members who turned out to support me at the Committee: my hon. Friends the Members for Colne Valley (Jason McCartney), for Burton (Andrew Griffiths) and for Birmingham, Yardley (John Hemming), my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford North (Mr Scott) who spoke about Sri Lanka, the right hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr MacShane) and the hon. Member for Scunthorpe (Nic Dakin).
The origin of this debate was my request for a debate on human rights in Kashmir and the request of my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford North for a debate on Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, some commentators mistakenly thought that we sought to conflate the two issues. That is not the case. It suited the Backbench Business Committee to bring the issues together under the heading of “Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent”.
I have a simple purpose: to give a voice to the thousands of British Kashmiri constituents who demand and are entitled to representation in this place, their Parliament. I am aware that many Members wish to speak about Sri Lanka, so for the sake of time I will rely on my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford North to cover that issue. I will say only that I support my Tamil constituents’ demand for an independent international investigation.
I shall let the debate stand in its own right.