Published On: Sat, Nov 14th, 2015

Modi visit would seriously harm community relations, Cameron told

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LONDON Nov 13: Campaigners and experts have told prime minister David Cameron that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK would cause serious and long-term ruptures in the relations of various communities living in Britain.

Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR) has sent an aide memoire to British Prime Minister David Cameron pointing out that the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting from 12 November and his address slated at Wembley Stadium as a predominantly a Hindu show would cause a great offence to British Indian Muslims, British Indian Sikhs, British Indian Christians, British Indians of Dalit caste, British Pakistani Muslims, British Pakistani Christians and British Kashmiris, who have a serious grievance against the present BJP Government in India.

JKCHR Secretary General Dr. Nazir Gilani in his aide memoire has highlighted that Mr. Modi’s party represents a Hindu nationalist mind-set that sees Indian Hindus and Muslims as two separate nations occupying the same land. “BJP defines Indian Muslims as a social group that is not indigenous but of foreign origin to the subcontinent. This implies that Muslims do not belong in India and have no real rights there,” said Gilani.

The aide memoir points out that BJP argues that Muslims and Christians are old Hindus and follows an elaborate programme of their return to Hinduism (Ghar Wapsi – Return to Home), through a paid reconversion. Vice President of Congress Mr. Rahul Gandhi has said that BJP is more bigger a threat to India than Al-Qaeda to the world peace, reminded Gilani.

JKCHR has asked the British Prime Minister to raise the following questions with the Indian Prime Minister during his visit and meetings: Indian security forces have entered the State of Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947 and have since turned into occupation forces and are engaged in a regular war with the people; Indian security forces continue to violate the restraints placed on their number, behaviour and location under UN Resolution of 21 April 1948; the current number of Indian armed forces in Kashmir is around 700,000 and remains highest military concentration in any conflict zone; British Kashmiris have extended families living on both sides of the cease-fire line – they are extremely concerned about the welfare of their families living under the shadow of around 700,000 Indian security forces and an unknown spread of security apparatus in the valley of Kashmir.

Dr. Nazir Gilani has expressed a hope that British Government would not fail to take up the issue of the non-discharge of the broad spread of Indian obligations on Kashmir and in the meanwhile would take all measures in its relations with India to defend the interests its citizens (British Kashmiris) in areas under the control of Indian security forces.

Sepeartely, Andrew Griffiths MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group, has written to the PM Cameron asking him to urge Modi for the withdrawal of Kashmir occupation forces. The MP called on his own party leader to ask Modi for the repeal of the armed forces’ special powers, or ‘Black Laws’, which empower Indian military and paramilitary soldiers to use force with impunity, and to detain civilians without proper cause. “These laws are an affront to the natural justice, and bring misery into the lives of those affected,” said the MP in a letter supported by dozens of MPs.

He told the PM that it has been almost seventy years since the UN called for a free and fair plebiscite to take place in Kashmir. “This has yet to be granted. The Kashmiri diaspora in Britain believe it is right for the Prime Minister take a lead on this issue. You have supported referenda in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, and Scotland. You are granting the people of the United Kingdom a referendum on the European Union. It is evident that you recognise the fundamental right that people hold to self-determination. We ask you to put this case to the Indian premier.

Overall, we hope that the forthcoming prime-ministerial visit is a success both for India and for the UK. But we hope too that it will be equally successful for the people of Kashmir who remain held under martial law, separated from their families by an arbitrary border, and denied their basic human right to decide their own destiny.”

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