Several prominent Indian origin voices in Labour Party have expressed their concerns over the recent decision to pass a resolution on J&K. Many members feel that Labour’s stand on Kashmir which in essence questions the decision of the government of India might hurt it electorally and that the Indian community would no longer side with Labour.
Keith Vaz, Member of Parliament from Leicester East and the longest-serving Indian origin British MP, has asked his party to recall its Kashmir resolution which was passed at Labour’s annual conference on 26 September. Vaz claimed that the resolution has created 'division and distress' among the people in the UK. In a statement he said:
“People have strongly-held views on Kashmir. Although many have settled in the U.K., they have friends, family and emotional links to the region. It would be wrong to allow this matter to distract from the amazing relationships they share in the towns and cities all over Britain”.
He also emphasized that the matter was a political issue and doesn’t require a third-party mediation. He added: "Issues of sovereignty are a matter for the Indian Government; border issues are matters for the Governments of India and Pakistan. This is a political and not a religious issue. Third-party involvement from countries, especially a former colonial power that originally caused this problem, are unhelpful and unwise”. Raising questions over the process of the decision itself, he wrote to the party to hold a proper debate on the issue.
“I have therefore written to the chair of the NEC, Andi Fox, and to Corbyn, asking them to recall the motion and hold a proper debate at the NEC to adopt a common party position that does not divide our communities,” read the statement.
Deputy Mayor of London, Rajesh Agarwal has joined hands with those opposing the resolution and called upon Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to meet the Indian community living in the UK. In a letter to Corbyn he wrote:
“We have concerns about the procedure for the selection of the motion, the quality of the evidence that backed it up, the lack of a balanced debate on the subject, and its ultimate selection and adoption.” The deputy Mayor also reminded his party that it was not for Britain to ‘intervene’ in the constitutional affairs of other countries. The Hindu Forum of Britain has decided to exclude Labour from its Diwali event at the Parliament asking them to rescind the resolution.