Keith Vaz condemns divisions caused by Kashmir ‘Resolution’

Tuesday 08th October 2019 19:34 EDT

Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin Member of Parliament Keith Vaz has said that the Resolution passed at the Labour Party Conference last week has created unnecessary divisions within the Indian and Pakistani diaspora communities in the U.K.

There are almost 1.5 million British Indians and close to 1.2 million British Pakistanis in the U.K, many of whom maintain close links to their respective countries of origin.

Mr. Vaz, who has served in the House of Commons for over 32 years, was the first Indian-origin MP since 1922. He has been re-elected in Leicester East eight times.

Keith Vaz said: “The emergency Resolution passed at the Labour Party Conference last week has been misguided and unhelpful. The motion was agreed without the approval of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, or the Leader of the Party, Jeremy Corbyn. It has created unnecessary distress and division within the Party and the country.

“People have strongly-held views on Kashmir. Although many have settled in the U.K., they have friends, family and emotional links to the region. It would be wrong to allow this matter to distract from the amazing relationships they share in the towns and cities all over Britain.

“I have therefore written to the Chair of the N.E.C., Andi Fox, and to the Leader of the Party, Jeremy Corbyn, asking them to recall the motion and hold a proper debate at the N.E.C. to adopt a common Party position that does not divide our communities. I deplore the attacks that have been made on the staff, visitors, and building of the Indian High Commission in London. We live in a Parliamentary democracy and so there is freedom of expression, but this provides no excuse for damage to the sovereign territory of another country. These attacks must cease.

“Issues of sovereignty are a matter for the Indian Government; border issues are matters for the Governments of India and Pakistan. This is a political and not a religious issue. Third-party involvement from countries, especially a former colonial power that originally caused this problem, are unhelpful and unwise.”

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