Dundee’s two SNP MPs have called for the UK Government to exert more pressure on the Indian Government, following a meeting with representatives from the local Muslim community concerned about the ongoing human rights violations in the autonomous region of Kashmir.
The Indian Government revoked Article 370 of its constitution earlier this year, which stripped Kashmir of the autonomy it has had for over seventy years. This was followed by a near total communications blackout throughout the region, a heightened military presence, and restrictions on freedom of movement and peaceful assembly.
Reports of widespread detentions and the use of excessive force against protestors have also been heard, although few newspapers and broadcasters have been able to access news from the region.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on behalf of their constituents, Chris Law and Stewart Hosie raised their concerns over the violations, and called for the UK Government to use the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council to highlight the ongoing situation in Kashmir and work with the Indian Government to end the conflict.
Mr Law and Mr Hosie met with representatives from the Dura Street Mosque to discuss the ongoing situation, and have encouraged any constituents concerned to get in touch with their office at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Law, MP for Dundee West and SNP International Development and Climate Justice Spokesperson, said:
“Some of the stories I have heard from constituents with close friends and family in the region are simply horrific. Many are unable to make any contact at all with their loved ones, and very little news has made it out of the region. As someone who has visited Kashmir on a number of occasions over the last thirty years, I know the area very well, and this is personally heartbreaking.
“The UK Government must urgently do more. The preservation of human rights is an issue for all of us. There are thousands of people personally affected here not just in Dundee but across the UK, and the UK Government must act for these people and work with other partners to put pressure on the Indian Government to bring a peaceful return to relations in Kashmir.”
Stewart Hosie, MP for Dundee East, said:
“Last Friday Chris and I met with members of the Muslim community in Dundee regarding the tragic situation unfolding in Kashmir. During the meeting we heard some deeply personal stories from constituents with families adversely affected by the developments in the region.”
“The reports of human rights abuses are disturbing, as is the communications blackout leaving so many families in the dark over the safety and whereabouts of their loved ones in Kashmir. Sensitive intervention from the UK Government is not only right, it is necessary.”