In what could be seen as the change in the position of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party on Kashmir, the new leader of the party Keir Starmer has said that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, and that a Labour government under his leadership in Britain would seek to build even stronger business links with India, reports Economic Times.
“We must not allow issues of the sub-continent to divide communities here. Any constitutional issues in India are a matter for the Indian Parliament, and Kashmir is a bilateral issue for India and Pakistan to resolve peacefully,” Starmer, who earlier this month replaced James Corbyn as Labour leader, said in a meeting with Labour Friends of India, according to a press statement by the party.
Starmer further said that a Labour government under his leadership would be determined to build even stronger business links with India and to co-operate on the global stage on issues such as climate change.
“I look forward to meeting the Indian High Commissioner in due course to open a renewed dialogue between the Labour Party and the people of India,” he said.
It should be noted that under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party had passed an emergency motion on Kashmir in September 2019, calling for the international observers to "enter" the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people.
The motion came after the Indian Parliament abrogated the Article 370 that gave special status to J&K and divided the erstwhile state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir.
The move by Labour party had drawn severe criticism from the Indian diaspora representatives who described it as "ill conceived" and "misinformed”.
Later in December 2019 general elections, the labour party suffered a crushing defeat, with PM Boris Johnson’s conservatives winning a historic majority in the British Parliament.
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