Theresa Griffin MEP: The lockdown in Kashmir must end

In August 2019, Theresa Griffin, MEP for the North West of England, wrote to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, calling for the EU to use all the tools at its disposal, including withholding trade deals, as part of a co-ordinated international approach to resolve this issue. This built on the hard work done by my political colleague, Wajid Khan. The letter asked for the EU to adopt the following position:

  1. Condemns the unilateral changes made to the status of Kashmir by India.
  2. Calls upon the EU and Member States to promote the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.
  3. Asks both sides to implement the recommendations of the UNHCR report.
  4. Considers that any EU trade agreement with India should include a human rights clause.
  5. Calls upon Council to adopt travel sanctions against Indian army officers involved in atrocities in Kashmir.
  6. Asks both sides to consider the enormous human, economic and political benefits of resolving this conflict.
  7. Asks India to reflect on the huge cost of its military deployment in Kashmir and the blemish to its reputation caused by the deteriorating human rights situation.

This followed calls earlier in the year by Theresa Griffin MEP for Prime Minister Modi to end the use of pellet-firing shotguns and to provide reparation to the families affected by pellet shotguns. (See note 1)

The July 2019, the UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir highlighted the Indian army in Kashmir acting with legal impunity, facing no legal consequences for using pellet guns as a means of crowd control despite them blinding and even killing children, nor needing to face charges for the numerous allegations of sexual violence, abductions, or attacks on journalists.

On Monday 2nd September, the EU’s committee on Foreign Affairs demanded that India’s Prime Minister immediately lift the curfew in Kashmir. (See note 2)

And with reports now coming out of Kashmir that vital medical supplies are in short supply and access to medicine is being restricted, it is more important than ever that a peaceful resolution to the crisis is found. (See note 3)

Theresa Griffin MEP said:

“The situation in Kashmir has been exacerbated by the sending of yet more troops, the expulsion of foreign visitors, including media, and a media and communications lockdown, with even internet and telephone access being cut off. This is an unacceptable situation and I will continue to push for India to cease its lockdown of Kashmir and support the Kashmiri right to self-determination.”

Notes for editors: