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Lib Dems fight for self determination of Kashmiri people

March 21, 2007 12:00 AM

Speaking after today's vote on the Kashmir report by the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, 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 said:

"Despite the production of such a divisive report, I am pleased that the Foreign Affairs Committee did at lease stress the importance of the Kashmiri people's right to self determination.

"However, I would have liked to have gone further, in particular calling for the Kashmiri people to have a plebiscite with the three options available: being part of Pakistan, India or independence.

"I am disappointed that the Labour Party voted against further Liberal Democrat calls for self determination.

"I have constantly called on all sides to work together to find a way through this dispute. It is right that we in Europe should be encouraging India and Pakistan to talk but the only way that we can achieve a just and lasting solution is by allowing the Kashmiri people to be at the forefront of the process. After all, it is their political aspirations and human rights that we must highlight and protect."

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).