India raises concern with Britain
London is set to witness a ‘Million March’ in support of independence for Kashmir, on October 26.
According to reports, thousands of people are expected to participate in the rally that shall begin in London’s Trafalgar Square and culminate at Prime Minister David Cameron’s office at 10 Downing Street.
A petition is also expected to be submitted at the Office asking Britain to “push India to resolve the Kashmir impasse with Pakistan, the reports added.
The rally is being organized by former prime minister of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry to “exert pressure on the Indian government to resolve Kashmir issue and stop severe human right violations in Kashmir.”
“The people of Kashmir have been struggling for many years to have the right to their own destiny. Imagine Scotland being partitioned into two parts with one being given independence and the other half occupied by British troops at a ratio of one soldier for every two civilians, with restrictions on all their movements. The people of Kashmir have always rejected the idea of having a border separating its people,” a news report quoted Chaudhry as saying.
The ‘Million March’ comes after a British MP David Ward recently managed to have the House of Commons debate Kashmir.
India has raised with Britain its concerns about a group planning to host an anti-India rally in London to highlight the Kashmir issue.
The matter was taken up by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her talks with Deputy Prime Minister of Britain Nick Clegg in London last week.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the British side maintained that matters between India and Pakistan should be best addressed and resolved by the two countries.
“We had a discussion with our colleagues and interlocutors in London who assured us that their approach to this matter is that matters between India and Pakistan are best addressed and resolved by India and Pakistan and we have confidence that as two pluralist and open societies India and UK will not do anything that is inimical to their interest,” the spokesperson said.
He was replying to a question on whether India has taken up the issue with Britain.
“… There has been a discussion on this matter and that discussion was during the visit of the External Affairs Minister to London recently where she did take up the matter in the context of issues that arise in the open societies when she was discussing these matters with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg,” Akbaruddin said.
UK, according to another news report, has told India that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between New Delhi and Pakistan for the two countries to solve together.