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UK Nationals in Pakistan during Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Since the start of the travel restrictions put in place globally as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been contacted by a large number of constituents concerned about family members and friends who are stuck overseas.   I know the Foreign Office is working hard to assist in the face of unprecedented travel restrictions. I was pleased to see the Foreign & Commonwealth Office announce a new government partnership with airlines to fly back more tourists stranded abroad due to the coronavirus […]


UK-Pakistan relations: an update

Recently, I met representatives from the Department of International Development (DfID) to discuss the UK’s assistance to help foster Pakistan’s social and economic progress. I was informed that the UK is committed to helping Pakistan harness the skills, talent and productivity of all its population in order to end aid dependency through jobs and growth. Secretary of State Justine Greening made her second visit to Pakistan at the beginning of July. She reinforced the UK’s strong partnership with Pakistan, encouraged […]

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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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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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Pakistan floods “hell on earth” says Wycombe Cllr (From Bucks Free Press)

The Bucks Free Press are reporting my Conservative colleague Arif Hussain’s trip to assist in Pakistan: COUNCILLOR Arif Hussain described his harrowing aid trip to flood-torn Pakistan as “hell on earth” – but has vowed to return to help the thousands of devastated families. The Wycombe District Councillor flew out to Pakistan on August 14 as part of an 11-day aid and mercy mission with the High Wycombe-based Five Pillars charity. I recommend the article if you wish to discover the […]

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An Evening with The British High Commissioner to Pakistan

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This evening, Adams Park, High Wycombe hosted Mr Adam Thomson CMG, the British High Commissioner to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. We had a wide-ranging discussion of foreign policy and migration issues, including in relation to Kashmir, India and Afghanistan. Questions covered some delicate issues which go to the heart of community cohesion. In particular, I was asked to contribute concerning what I thought should be done to promote greater understanding between communities. With apologies for reusing my favourite quote, […]

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