British Indian Organisations on Monday wrote a joint letter to UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, criticising a controversial emergency motion on Kashmir while stressing that it seeks to interfere in the "internal matters of and between third countries and is drafted in a one-sided and divisive manner."
The letter by these organisations expressed dismay that the move has abandoned long-standing cross-party position on Kashmir as a strictly bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and in doing so has sown seeds of community disharmony in the United Kingdom.
"We are writing collectively, as British Indian community organisations, to express our deep dismay that her Majesty's opposition has abandoned a long-standing cross-party position on Kashmir as a strictly bilateral matter between India and Pakistan, and in doing so, sown the seeds of community disharmony in the United Kingdom," the letter read.
The resolution was passed on 26 September at the party's annual conference in Brighton and called for the entry of international observers into the region while demanding the right of self-determination for its people. The motion was a response to the decision by the Indian government to create a Union Territory of Kashmir and withdraw its special status under Article 370.
It may be noted that the British government's official stance on Kashmir is that it remains an issue between India and Pakistan.
The Labour resolution alleged that the decision has created a "major humanitarian crisis" in the region.
Monday's letter further expressed concerns over the wider attempts to bring the Kashmir issue into the domestic politics of the UK, "which has serious ramifications for community harmony".
"We have already witnessed the horrendous scenes and arrests outside the Indian High Commission on 15 August 2019," the letter stated, in reference to the protests outside the Indian High Commission in the UK by the Pakistanis at the time when the Indian Diaspora had gathered outside the embassy to celebrate the Independence day.
"At a time when Brexit has already created deep divisions within our country, the last thing we need is to further divide different communities within the United Kingdom whilst destroying our diplomatic relations with the world's largest democracy and long-standing, valued strategic partnership," the letter read.
The organisations said that they are particularly dismayed by the virulent reaction by the Labour Party to the removal of an outdated, temporary provision that was hindering the development of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the people of all religions, genders, and ethnicities living there.
"For the avoidance of doubt, our organisations do not take party political positions and include members of all parties and none. However, in this instance, we feel compelled to highlight this serious issue," the letter read.
The organisations said that they are consulting with "members and community colleagues" to reconsider the level and nature of engagement with Labour Party representatives going forward in the light of the strident position that the party and Corbyn have taken.
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