Last week, after watching the documentary Kashmir’s Torture Trail on Channel Four, I submitted a written question to Alistair Burt, the Foreign Minister for the Indian sub-continent.
I asked what assessment he had made of the allegations of human rights abuses made in the documentary and if he would make a statement.
I reproduce the full answer below:
We are aware of the Channel 4 documentary on Kashmir. We monitor developments in Kashmir closely and regularly raise concerns about the human rights situation on both sides of the Line of Control. The UK has consistently called for an end to all external support for violence in Kashmir. Prime Minister Singh has made it clear that human rights abuses by security forces in Kashmir will not be tolerated. We note that the Indian Government decided to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to pay a fact-finding visit to Kashmir last March. We are following the investigations of the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission. We welcome the initiative by Prime Minister Singh to appoint three interlocutors to engage with a wide range of interested parties to help resolve the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir. The Indian Government has recently published the interlocutors’ report, which sets out a range of confidence building measures, including addressing human rights concerns. I understand that the Indian Government will take a decision on how to implement the report after a period of consultation.
The long standing position of the UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation in Kashmir, one which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to mediate in finding one. We welcome the positive steps being taken by Pakistan and India to build trust and confidence.