This week, I sought and secured a debate on human rights in Kashmir which is to take place on the afternoon of Thursday 15 September, in the House of Commons.
I was joined before Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee by Jason McCartney MP, Andrew Griffiths MP, Denis MacShane MP and Nic Dakin MP. We argued for a debate on Amnesty International’s recent report on human rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir, “A Lawless Law”. We pointed out that this would be the first full debate on Kashmir since Partition and called for Parliament to demand real progress towards human rights and democratic self determination for Kashmiris.
The Committee decided to award a three hour debate to be shared with Lee Scott MP on the subject of human rights on the Indian Sub-continent. This will allow the situations in both Kashmir and Sri Lanka to be debated.
I am delighted that Parliament will have this opportunity to debate human rights in Kashmir and Sri Lanka in the main Chamber of the House of Commons. The cause of Kashmir has never received the prominence it should in British public debate and too little attention has been paid to the pleas of British Sri Lankans. I hope this debate will spur the Government to further action on both situations.