LAHORE -  Member British Parliament, Andrew Gywnne, yesterday stressed the need for early resolution of the Kashmir conflict in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people. He also called for an immediate end to the Indian atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris struggling for their right to self-determination for the last 70 years.  

“The world nations must recognise the right of Kashmiris to decide about how they would like to be governed and by whom,” he said while talking to The Nation on Sunday.  

Mr Andrew is also Shadow Secretary of State for Local Communities and Government and also worked as a national campaign in charge for Labour Party in the last national elections.

He called on Editor, The Nation, Mr Salim Bokhari who briefed him about the newspaper policy and the history of Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan. Member of European Parliament, Wajid Khan and Councillor Aasim Rashid from the Great Britain also accompanied him. 

The delegation is visiting Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) on the invitation of AJK President Masood Khan.

Andrew strongly believed that Kashmiris were constantly living under a state of oppression which he said must come to an end immediately. He supported the UN resolutions on Kashmir, saying that the issue was very much alive and had not been put under the carpet. 

“There has to be an open dialogue on Kashmir and a road map must be drawn to resolve this long-standing issue in the near future,” he said, adding that the world powers must come forward to force India to sit on the negotiation table. He stressed that Kashmir issue should be kept alive by repeatedly telling the stories of sufferings of the Kashmiri people at the hands of Indian government.

To a question, the British lawmaker expressed his optimism that Kashmir issue would be resolved one day sooner or later. To substantiate his point, Andrew cited the examples of Ireland, South Africa and Palestine whose people ultimately got their right to self-determination after years-long struggle. 

Answering another question, he said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a nationalist and not a statesman. He also showed concern over the plight of minorities and the growing incidents of violence against them under his rule.

Talking about his experience of meeting people in Pakistan and AJK, Andrew said that people here were welcoming, open and friendly. He also saw a great tourism potential in Pakistan while praising its landscape which he termed stunning.  He said he witnessed an absolute peace and clam wherever he went.