LONDON – UNS – The UK Labour Party Leader Kier Starmer has said that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. The Labour Leader, while speaking to Friends of India, said, “Any constitutional issues in India are a matter for the Indian Parliament, and Kashmir is a bilateral issue for India and Pakistan to resolve peacefully.”
While commenting on statement of the Labour Party, Dr Shabir Choudhry, President Foreign Affairs Committee of UKPNP, and Usman Kayani, President of UKPNP, Britain said, ‘Labour Party is an important political Party of Britain, and they formulate policies that suits their Party and national interests; and that doesn’t have to be in consonant with our wishes.’
The UKPNP leaders said, the above statement has annoyed some sections of the Jammu and Kashmir. However, non-Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, including some Muslims have welcomed this statement.
They said, ‘People have a right to comment on any political issue; and we cannot deny anyone of that right. However, we should not give this impression that Mr Kier Starmer’s statement has made Jammu and Kashmir a ‘bilateral issue’.
The joint statement said, ‘Although we say, we are the principal party to the dispute, but the bitter fact is that Jammu and Kashmir dispute has always been dealt as a dispute between India and Pakistan. We should criticise those who have made this dispute a bilateral one.’
UKPNP leaders emphasised that, ‘While using our right of expression we need to ensure that we do not promote extremism, intolerance and religious hatred; and antagonize South Asian communities in Britain. In this context we agree with the Labour Leader that “We must not allow issues of the sub-continent to divide communities here.”