Wanted To ‘Assess’ Ground Situation In Kashmir, Says Deported British MP

SRINAGAR – British MP Debbie Abrahams, who was denied entry into India after the government revoked her visa, visited Pakistan on Wednesday and said that she was not anti-India or pro-Pakistan but just wanted to see the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir, reports said.

Debbie, who chairs a British parliamentary group on Kashmir, was denied entry into India upon her arrival at the New Delhi airport on Monday. Government officials had said she was informed in advance that her e-visa had been cancelled. Government sources later said her visa was revoked because she indulged in “anti-India” activities.

The Labour Party MP had said that despite having a valid visa she was denied entry into India after she landed at the airport here.

On Wednesday, the British MP visited Pakistan along with eight other lawmakers from the UK Parliament. Debbie and the MPs met Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, New Delhi based India Today reported.

Addressing media on Wednesday afternoon, Debbie said she wants to reiterate her demand to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

“Pakistan has shown an open approach towards resolving the Kashmir issue,” Debbie said, adding that she wants to visit Jammu and Kashmir to see for herself the ground situation there. “We are an independent group, we are not anti-India or pro-Pakistan,” she said.

“We wanted to make sure that the delegation visits… Jammu and Kashmir… I have gotten no responses for my requests for delegation visit to Jammu and Kashmir by India,” she added.

Later in the day, the delegation led by Debbie met with Pakistan PM Imran Khan to discuss the situation in Kashmir, following the abrogation of Article 370 last year in August.

Pertinently, she was among a group of British MPs who issued formal letters expressing concerns over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 in August last year.

“We are gravely concerned at the announcement by Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been removed by Presidential Order,” the Opposition MP had noted in her letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the time.

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