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Written Parliamentary Questions to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The week before the Christmas break, I submitted a number of Written Parliamentary Questions to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I was pleased yesterday to receive a response on the issues I raised, and you can read them in full below. I asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, what recent assessment has been made of the human rights situation effecting Uyghur Muslims in China, what effect the Indian Governments changes to its constitution is […]

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Kashmir Update: Written Parliamentary Questions to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I recently tabled a number of Written Parliamentary Questions to Ministers in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Kashmir. You can read my questions and the FCO’s answers below. Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of alleged human rights abuses in Indian-administered Kashmir; and if he will make a statement. Answer: Mrs Heather Wheeler:  ?We recognise that there are human rights concerns in […]

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Kashmir Westminster Hall Debate

Yesterday I attended a Westminster Hall debate on Kashmir. The full Hansard transcript of proceedings can be found here. I made the following remarks; Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): Three foreign policy issues are of acute interest to my constituents: Israel and Palestine, Sri Lanka and Kashmir. Members will have spotted that all three have something in common, which is, of course, the legacy of the British Empire. I very much welcome this debate, and I congratulate the hon. Member for Bradford East (Mr […]

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Kashmir update

Following the recent armed contact on the Line of Control dividing Kashmir, I asked the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for an update on its position: Steve Baker: What reports he has received on the armed contact between India and Pakistan in Kashmir on 6 January 2013? Mr Swire: We are concerned about the recent incidents on both sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir. There were two incidents on 6 and 8 January involving cross-border incursions on both sides of […]

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Kashmir’s Torture Trail: An update

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 […]

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Kashmir’s Torture Trail – Channel 4, tonight, 23:10

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Tonight on Channel 4 at 11:10 PM, Kashmir’s Torture Trail: In 2010 Kashmir erupted in violent protests in which 118 demonstrators died. This programme meets the Kashmiri lawyer determined to bring India to account for events in Kashmir. In the course of campaigning for peaceful democratic self-determination for Kashmir, I have often said that what is needed is incontrovertible evidence of human rights abuses in the region which can be given a high profile. I haven’t been involved in this […]

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The latest Government stance on Kashmir

Last week, the Foreign Secretary launched the Government’s Human Rights and Democracy Report. The Report is a comprehensive look at the human rights work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office around the world. The Foreign Secretary has said that 2011 will stand out as a positive year for human rights and democracy. He went on to say that the UK is one of the most active governments in the world when it comes to promoting human rights and that this […]

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Democratic self-determination is a basic right: both Kashmir and the UK should have referenda on who governs them

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After Easter, I spent a week in Pakistan and Kashmir, visiting Islamabad, Thara, Sava, Dadyal, Mirpur and Skardu, which is in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan province. During a live news conference with Kashmir’s Prime Minister, I was asked why I take the time to support the cause of democratic self-determination for Kashmir. There are three reasons. First, the essence of representative democracy is representation. I joined the Party in the Autumn of 2007 when, thanks to the transformation of the EU […]

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Discussing Kashmir on radio and TV

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Last Saturday, I was delighted to appear on High Wycombe’s Awaaz Radio to discuss Kashmir and our recent debate in Parliament. Last night, we followed up an invitation to appear on Takbeer TV with their anchor Sheraz Khan, presenting a copy of Hansard covering the debate. Our live interview will be rebroadcast at 0900 on Sky 845 today.

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Debate on Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent

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 […]

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