New Delhi 16.09.2019. British MP Bob Blackman on Saturday slammed Pakistan over its decision to move the United Nations on the Kashmir issue and said that the country should vacate Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) first.
Bob Blackman said that Jammu and Kashmir was part of sovereign India.
Addressing a UK-based Kashmiri Pandit gathering organised here on Saturday, the Conservative Party MP countered the Pakistani government’s plan to move a United Nations resolution in the wake of India’s August 5 decision to revoke Article 370 of its Constitution and end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The entirety of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is part of sovereign India, and people that ask for UN resolution to be implemented ignore the first resolution, which is that Pakistani military forces should leave Kashmir to re-unite the state,” Blackman said at the “Balidan Divas” or Day of Sacrifice event held in London.
Organised by the Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Society and All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS), the event involved a theatre production titled ‘We Remember: The Journey of Kashmiri Pandits’. It was put together by children and friends of Britain’s Kashmiri Pandit community to capture the sentiment behind the lost homes of many Kashmiris.
“A powerful performance by all the children in the play and the Bharatanatyam dance. Appreciate your commitment and support Bob Blackman,” Indian High Commissioner to the UK Ruchi Ghanashyam said in a tweet.
The children tracked their family history in the play highlighting the horror stories of the exodus in 1990 when thousands were displaced from their homeland Kashmir and are still hoping to return one day.
One of the kids, Bhoovi Kaul, who performed in the play recounted her story, saying, “I had always heard from my parents that both of them came from Kashmir. Every year, when I visit my grandparents, I could never understand why I couldn’t visit their parents birth place despite being just 200 miles away in Jammu.”
Blackman has been speaking out in favour of India since the decision to revoke Article 370 found echoes among Britain’s MPs.
The north London MP, who is also chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Hindus, has been a long-time supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had also written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accusing Opposition Labour Party MPs of making provocative claims against India.
“I strongly support the revocation of Article 370 Narendra Modi has again shown proper and strong leadership in honouring the manifesto of the BJP now is the time to properly integrate Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian Constitution,” he said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.