LONDON: The first-ever motion to commemorate the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir 25 years ago has been tabled in the British Parliament.
The Early Day Motion (EDM) was tabled by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of British Hindus, led by lawmaker Bob Blackman and supported by four other MPs.
The EDM reads: “That this House commemorates with deep sadness the 25th anniversary of the attack in January 1990 by cross-border Islamic militants on the population of Jammu and Kashmir; expresses its condolences to the families and friends of all those who were killed, raped and injured in this massacre.”
It also “condemns the desecration of the holiest sites in Jammu and Kashmir; further expresses its concern that the Kashmiris who fled to save life and limb have still not secured justice for the atrocities committed against them; deplores those sponsoring such cross-border terrorist attacks and demands they cease immediately.
“…The international principle of the responsibility to protect obliges individual states and the international community to take effective measures to prevent the commission of genocide and crimes against humanity as seen against the Kashmiri Hindu community.”
EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. While very few are actually debated, they are a way for British MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.
A memorial event was also held at the House of Commons earlier this week, supported by the APPG of British Hindus and co-sponsored by Blackman from the Conservative party and Virendra Sharma from Labour to offer tribute to the martyrs of the forced exodus.
“The EDM 712 is historic as it highlights the Kashmiri Hindus plight for the first time ever – all other EDMs on Kashmir are so far on the propaganda separatist agenda,” the Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Society said in a statement.
The society had led a peace march in London on Sunday to “commemorate the Kashmiri Hindus Forced Exodus Day of 19.01.1990”.
“Kashmiri Hindu Pundits are living like refugees in their own country. Perhaps this kind of misery only Yazidis in Iraq are facing. This situation is not acceptable. I urge the Government of India to take all necessary steps to restore the dignity and the homes of Kashmiri Pandits,” said Madhava Turumella, Hindu Scholar and vice-president Hindu Forum of Britain.
At present there are about 60,452 registered Kashmiri migrant families in India.
About 38,119 registered Kashmiri migrant families are residing in Jammu and about 19,338 registered Kashmiri migrant families are living in Delhi and besides Jammu and Delhi, about 1,995 families are settled in other states.