Today marks two years since the Indian Government abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and divided it into two federally government territories.
This decision forced millions of Kashmiris into a state of lockdown and information blackout, leaving phone lines cut and suspending access to the internet. In the past two years, thousands have been arbitrarily arrested and detained.
The suffering of Kashmir and its people is an issue particularly close to my heart – my mother was born there, and I still have close ties to the region. The ongoing human rights abuses and suffering experienced by the people of Kashmir is deeply distressing and a source of great sorrow and anger not just to myself and my constituents, but to Kashmiris and non-Kashmiris across the UK and around the world.
To mark this second anniversary, I have participated in events around the world from Sweden to America to discuss the ongoing lockdown and plight of Kashmir.
I cannot be a silent bystander. I have a responsibility, as do we all, to be the voice for the voiceless Kashmiris, and I will continue to speak out until the Kashmiri people are free from suffering and able to realise their fundamental right to self-determination.