British lawmakers to debate Kashmir issue

Islamabad, Jan 19 (IANS) British parliamentarians were slated on Thursday to debate a motion on the Kashmir issue, which will call upon 10 Downing Street to raise the long-standing issue with the United Nations, an official said.

The motion will urge the British government to encourage Pakistan and India to commence peace negotiations to establish a long-term solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.

The debate is determined by the Backbench Business Committee following an application from David Nuttall, a member of the Conservative Party. The Backbench committee meets weekly on Tuesdays to consider requests for debates from any backbench MP on any subject.

The debate on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India will be led by Nuttall along with Nusrat Ghani, Robert Flello and Fiona Mactaggart.

Since the killing of Burhan Wani — a pro-freedom militant leader — on July 8, 2016 by the Indian security forces, the Kashmir Valley has seen its biggest outbreak of protest and violence since 2010.

The violence in the Valley has led to a serious flaring up of tension between India and Pakistan, with regular exchanges between their forces along the Line of Control, that divides the two nuclear countries.

This was not the first time that the MPs have proposed such a motion in Britain’s Parliament. However, the Parliament had on previous instances tabled down such motion, maintaining that the Kashmir issue was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.