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Shabana Mahmood MP speaks on humanitarian situation in Kashmir

On Thursday 11th September 2014, Shabana Mahmood MP spoke on the Political and humanitarian situation in Kashmir.

In the debate,Shabana Mahmood MP said:

“The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is of grave concern to many thousands of our constituents across this country and to many people all over the world. What happened after partition—the blood-soaked birth of modern-day Pakistan and India—was that a group of people from different backgrounds, different religions and cultures, saw their homeland ultimately split between two countries. That is what has given rise to the current long-standing dispute.

Those of us privileged enough to know either Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Jammu and Kashmir itself can testify that it is a truly beautiful part of the world; It has been scarred for too long by this conflict. It often does not get much attention in our media, but it is very real and very alive for many people.

There is a humanitarian crisis caused by the recent floods and the previous earthquake. Undeniably, the people of the region have suffered greatly on many fronts. If we are to give voice to the desire of people in the region to set their own destiny. (…) Whatever one’s personal view, it is for the people of the region to decide the course of their own destiny. It is not for me, even as one whose identity and roots hail from that part of the world, to say what their fate should be(…)

I have no right to tell the Kashmiri people what their future should be, but I will always speak up passionately for their right to decide their future for themselves. We have had some discussion about the role of the British Government. I believe that their role should be that of a critical friend to both Pakistan and India. We have a moral responsibility to encourage both sides to move towards a resolution of the dispute, but we also have a responsibility to speak up for the Kashmiri people and to ensure that their voice is heard.”


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