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"An issue for the whole world"; urgent question on Kashmir tensions

27 February 2019 (updated on 27 February 2019)

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Pakistan claimed this morning to have shot down two Indian Air Force jets over Kashmir amid tension in the region. Debbie Abrahams asked the Government to make a statement, as the two nuclear powers engage in the first aerial attacks since 1971.

Officials speaking for both India and Pakistan have said that they do not wish to escalate towards conflict, and will act with restraint, but the incursions of both countries over Kashmir's Line of Control and into each others airspace has caused concern internationally.

The European Union, United States and China have all urged restraint.  

Addressing MPs, the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mark Field said,

“The UK is, and remains, deeply concerned about the rising tensions between India and Pakistan. Understandably there has been huge interest in this rapidly developing situation. This House will understand that it would not be appropriate for me to comment in detail on reportage at this time”

He went on to say that the UK was communicating with both India and Pakistan and was asking for restraint. 

Debbie Abrahams welcomed the Minister's statement but said that successive governments had failed to adequately deal with the historic issues faced in the Kashmir region. She said,

“Both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. This isn't just an issue for the region, it is an issue for the whole world."

She urged the Government to do more towards working for sustainable peace in the region.

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