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Liz Lynne shows solidarity with the Kashmiri people

February 5, 2007 12:00 AM

Liz Lynne, Liberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands region, long time campaigner for a peaceful resolution in Kashmir and President of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Kashmir, has today spoken at a rally in central Birmingham to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

Speaking at the rally, Liz said:

"I have constantly stressed the need for all sides to work together to find a way through this dispute. For a long-lasting solution to be found, it is the Kashmiri people who have to be at the forefront of this process. After all, how would other communities like it if their fate was decided without their consent?

"The people of Kashmir have been caught in the middle of these tensions for decades. We must now look forward to the future and to the real potential we have to find a permanent peaceful settlement. I welcome the dialogue between India and Pakistan, and sincerely hope they will succeed where previous efforts have failed. Ultimately, however the views of the Kashmiri people themselves must be given priority.

"This is not a party-political issue; this is a fundamental human rights issue. Self determination is a broad concept, but is an absolute right, enshrined by the United Nations, and we must all respect and protect the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Liz Lynne was author of the Liberal Democrat motion calling for the international community to work for a peace settlement in Kashmir, which was adopted by federal party conference in 2004.

Liz Lynne is Member of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights, President of the Liberal Democrats 'Friends of Kashmir', Member of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).