Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP asks Labour Party to withdraw resolution on Kashmir

Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin Member of Parliament has demanded the withdrawal of an emergency resolution passed by the party on Kashmir.

Keith Vaz, the Labour MP for Leicester East, has criticised the motion on ‘internationalising Kashmir,’ passed in the Labour Party conference in Brighton on September 25.

Calling the resolution “divisive”, Keith Vaz has written to Andi Fox, Chair of the National Executive Committee to recall the motion.

“The emergency resolution 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”

UK is home to almost 1.5 million British Indians and close to 1.2 million British Pakistanis.

Since the abrogation of Article 370, tensions between the two communities who have been co-existing here, has increased. This has also been acknowledged by the High Commissioner of India in London, Ruchi Ghanshaym.

Speaking to India Today at an inauguration of paintings inspired by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, she had said, “There is a wedge. In fact, it appears that an attempt is being made to drive a wedge between the diaspora of two countries. This is not a good thing.”

The comment had come after India supporters were attacked outside the India House in London by Pakistan supporters on the August 15 and the building of the mission was vandalised on September 3.

Referring to the attack, Keith Vaz said, “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.”

Vaz, who is the first Indian-origin MP since 1922, added, “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, is unhelpful and unwise.”