On 12 December, the United Kingdom will hold a general election to find a resolution to the political deadlock over Brexit—a term that refers to the UK’s potential withdrawal from the European Union. However, not every voter will have Brexit on their minds as they cast their ballot.
The votes of many in the British South Asian community—specifically Indians and Pakistanis—may be influenced by their candidates’ stance on the Indian government’s recent moves in Kashmir. On 5 August, the Indian government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Following the move, several reports emerged of human-rights violations at the hands of the Indian security forces.
In its annual conference in September, the UK’s Labour Party passed an emergency motion on Kashmir. The motion noted that “there is a major humanitarian crisis taking place in Kashmir,” and called for “international observers to enter the region.” It further took note of “the enforced disappearance of civilians,” “the overall prevalence of human rights violations” and “the house arrest / imprisonment of mainstream politicians and activists.” It added that “the people of Kashmir should be given the right of self-determination.”