One of Britain’s most outspoken members of Parliament on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Bob Blackman, tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons on Tuesday to mark what is observed as “Exodus Day” by Kashmiri Pandits. Blackman, a north London Conservative Party MP who has been honoured with a Padma Shri by India, called on the international community to take “effective measures” to prevent the commission of genocide and crimes against humanity as suffered by the Kashmiri Hindu community on January 19, 1990. The date refers to a cross-border terrorist attack on the population of Jammu and Kashmir, which led to Kashmiri families fleeing the region for their safety.
“That this House commemorates with deep sadness and disappointment, the 31st 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; condemns the desecration of the holiest sites in Jammu and Kashmir,” reads the EDM. “Kashmiris who fled persecution have still not seen justice for the atrocities committed against them; [the House] commends the resilience and courage shown by the members of Kashmiri Pandit community who survived this gruesome ethnic genocide and who did not resort to taking up arms but instead pursued education and aspiration; deplores those sponsoring such cross-border terrorist attacks and demands that such attacks cease immediately, it adds.
The EDM, a method used by British MPs to draw Parliament’s attention to a particular issue, is also signed by Opposition Labour’s veteran Indian-origin MP Virendra Sharma.
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