19/01/2017 House of Commons


19/01/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including backbench business debates on Kashmir and Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 19/01/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

raise the matter. The honourable gentleman has many qualities, one of

:00:00.:00:00.

which is his purse I beg to move the motion that stands

:00:00.:00:26.

in my name and the names of several other members on the order paper. I

:00:27.:00:32.

start by thanking my fellow members of the backbench business committee

:00:33.:00:35.

for allowing me to briefly stand down from the committee to make the

:00:36.:00:42.

application for this debate. And no further thank them for agreeing the

:00:43.:00:45.

debate would take place today. I should also be clear I am the

:00:46.:00:48.

current chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Kashmir. Can

:00:49.:00:56.

I thank all those groups who have campaigned so steadfastly on this

:00:57.:01:03.

issue for so many years, particularly the Kashmir

:01:04.:01:07.

self-determination movement, working tirelessly to keep up the profile of

:01:08.:01:18.

the issue of Kashmir with MPs. Also members from the British Muslim

:01:19.:01:24.

Women's Network, the Kashmir liberation Council, and the Kashmir

:01:25.:01:33.

Council for human rights. I will give way. I am grateful, and I

:01:34.:01:37.

congratulate him on securing the debate. Can I ask him to put on

:01:38.:01:46.

record thanks to all those ordinarily Kashmiris in this country

:01:47.:01:52.

and back in Kashmir who fight time and again to get this high up on the

:01:53.:01:59.

agenda so we take action. I am grateful to him for raising that,

:02:00.:02:04.

and I put that on the record. Let me explain why this motion is being

:02:05.:02:08.

brought before the House today. Essentially it is because this

:02:09.:02:12.

matter really matters to my thousands of constituents who are of

:02:13.:02:21.

Pakistani and Kashmiri Heritage. It matters to the constituents of many

:02:22.:02:26.

members in the House today. Many of my constituents have family in

:02:27.:02:30.

Kashmir, and in some cases they have lost loved ones or seen loved ones

:02:31.:02:37.

scarred for life as a result of violence. For those not familiar

:02:38.:02:41.

with Kashmir, it is a territory running across the border between

:02:42.:02:45.

Pakistan and India. The root cause of the conflict can be traced back

:02:46.:02:50.

to 1947, when the colony of India was granted independence by Britain

:02:51.:02:55.

and was partitioned into two two separate entities, India and

:02:56.:03:02.

Pakistan. There was a predominantly Muslim population but the Hindu

:03:03.:03:10.

leader. The area has a long and complex history and it is not enough

:03:11.:03:14.

time to go into all that history today, but suffice to say, the

:03:15.:03:19.

argument over which nation would incorporate the state led to the

:03:20.:03:27.

first India Pakistan war in 1947 - 48. There have been further upsurges

:03:28.:03:33.

in the conflict since then and they are both known nuclear power is. To

:03:34.:03:41.

complicate matters further, -- there are now nuclear powers. I am pleased

:03:42.:03:47.

to see the Minister for Southeast Asia in his possession, and I am

:03:48.:03:50.

grateful to him for taking the time to meet with members of the

:03:51.:03:57.

all-party group on Kashmir recently. I know he will be aware that it is

:03:58.:04:00.

the fact Britain was responsible for the partition which leads many in

:04:01.:04:04.

the Kashmiri community to believe this country could and should be

:04:05.:04:08.

doing more to try to help resolve this matter. The fact that the

:04:09.:04:15.

petition was 70 years ago demonstrates the intransigence of

:04:16.:04:18.

this problem, and I am under no illusion that they are easy

:04:19.:04:24.

solutions. There are two areas I wish to cover today. Firstly the

:04:25.:04:29.

recent increase in violence in human rights abuses, and secondly the

:04:30.:04:31.

longer-term issue of trying to resolve this long-running conflict.

:04:32.:04:36.

The most recent increase in violence began last year, when on the 8th of

:04:37.:04:43.

July 22-year-old -- a 22-year-old was killed by the security forces.

:04:44.:04:49.

Tens of thousands attended his funeral. Clashes broke out at it,

:04:50.:04:57.

between security forces and protestors. Security forces fired

:04:58.:04:59.

live ammunition into the crowd, killing several people, and a police

:05:00.:05:05.

officer was also killed. Since then, the authorities have declared

:05:06.:05:12.

curfews and close down mobile phone services and media outlets.

:05:13.:05:16.

Attendance at mosques and adherence to religious practices has been

:05:17.:05:23.

restricted. Protestors have organised a series of general

:05:24.:05:26.

strikes and there have been regular public rallies. Schools, colleges

:05:27.:05:29.

and universities have also been closed. The economy has been badly

:05:30.:05:40.

hit. Funerals have also been hit by protests. Scores of Kashmiris have

:05:41.:05:46.

been killed. Many civilians have been injured. -- many thousands. I

:05:47.:05:52.

will give way. I thank him for securing this very important debate.

:05:53.:05:58.

He quite rightly points out that recent escalation in human rights

:05:59.:06:04.

violations, but will he accept that this is a longer term problem and

:06:05.:06:09.

human rights violations have happened for decades? I am grateful

:06:10.:06:18.

to the honourable member for raising this. As I said earlier, there is a

:06:19.:06:23.

long and complex history to this. As the honourable member says, there

:06:24.:06:29.

have been many upsurges in violence, and as he will be aware, there have

:06:30.:06:35.

been many human rights abuses which have been catalogued and recorded

:06:36.:06:44.

over the years. I will give way. Would he agree that it is imperative

:06:45.:06:49.

that an international investigation into those human rights abuses is

:06:50.:06:54.

carried out as soon as possible? Yes, I do agree. It is something I

:06:55.:06:59.

will mention briefly later in my speech. The use of pellet guns has

:07:00.:07:09.

left thousands of people, including children, injured and in many cases

:07:10.:07:14.

blind. Armed militants have increased their attacks on the

:07:15.:07:19.

security forces. In September 2016, an attack on an army base killed 19

:07:20.:07:26.

soldiers, the Army's worst loss of life for more than a decade. There

:07:27.:07:38.

has been a flaring up of tension. This has led to significant military

:07:39.:07:48.

casualties. Both sides have ramped up the hostile rhetoric. I know the

:07:49.:07:51.

government are concerned about any allegation of human rights abuses.

:07:52.:07:57.

Ministers have said so many times in answers to both oral and written

:07:58.:08:02.

questions, but I do ask the Minister to condemn these attacks and the use

:08:03.:08:08.

of pellet guns. The fundamental human rights enshrined in the Indian

:08:09.:08:11.

constitution must be adhered to. There must be an end to the use of

:08:12.:08:16.

pellet guns on innocent civilians. The UNHCR and other interested

:08:17.:08:22.

parties must be allowed free and complete access to allow them to

:08:23.:08:32.

make an objective assessment. Let me now turn to the role of the United

:08:33.:08:36.

Nations in securing a long-term settlement. After 70 years of

:08:37.:08:41.

inaction since the original UN resolutions were passed, requiring

:08:42.:08:45.

this conflict to be resolved by peaceful democratic means, it is

:08:46.:08:52.

easy to see why so many in the Kashmiri community think the United

:08:53.:08:55.

Nations has lost interest in their problem. I have often said this

:08:56.:08:59.

dispute is all too frequently ignored by the media. It always

:09:00.:09:04.

seems there is some other conflict elsewhere in the world which grabs

:09:05.:09:09.

the headlines. As a member of the United Nations, I know the United

:09:10.:09:13.

Kingdom supports all UN bodies and wants to help them fulfil their

:09:14.:09:18.

mandate. But in the case of Kashmir, there has surely been feeling for

:09:19.:09:23.

those resolutions to have gone unfulfilled for so long.

:09:24.:09:28.

I PC at the government has took treader careful path. We wish to be

:09:29.:09:36.

friends with both India and Pakistan. But a candid and true

:09:37.:09:40.

friend is one who sometimes says things the other friend may find

:09:41.:09:45.

unpalatable. I will give way. I'm very grateful. I support his motion.

:09:46.:09:51.

Surely, it's not a question of supporting the Indian or Pakistan

:09:52.:09:55.

government, it's about supporting the people of Kashmir. Just as he

:09:56.:10:00.

and I campaigned for years for a referendum to decide whether our

:10:01.:10:05.

country should be ruled by the European Union are not, surely the

:10:06.:10:10.

people of Kashmir should have the same freedom to decide how they are

:10:11.:10:17.

governed. There is absolutely right. I am about to mention that historic

:10:18.:10:22.

decision that this country took last year. I will give way before I

:10:23.:10:32.

proceed. I quite concur with the honourable member for Shipley in

:10:33.:10:35.

saying this is an issue about Kashmir, but this is not just about

:10:36.:10:39.

India and Pakistan, but also China. We have to work with all of them to

:10:40.:10:45.

make sure civil rights and human rights of the Kashmiri people are

:10:46.:10:52.

important in this debate. I am grateful to him for that

:10:53.:10:56.

intervention. He's absolutely right, that this is a matter which involves

:10:57.:11:03.

both nations, and it is crucially about the rights of the Kashmiri

:11:04.:11:11.

people. I wish to make it clear that, in this case, we want both

:11:12.:11:16.

India and Pakistan to know that we want to help them find a permanent

:11:17.:11:20.

and peaceful solution to this conflict. Of course, this country

:11:21.:11:26.

cannot impose its leadership, but I believe we can do more to bring the

:11:27.:11:31.

parties closer together. I wish to make it clear that I do not see this

:11:32.:11:35.

issue as being about taking sides and saying that if you had a friend

:11:36.:11:40.

of Kashmir, you're not a friend of India. This problem must be resolved

:11:41.:11:45.

by peaceful means. I want to see the people of Kashmir being given the

:11:46.:11:50.

right to decide their own future, the right to self-determination, a

:11:51.:11:55.

so historically exercised by the people of this country on the 23rd

:11:56.:12:02.

of June last year, when the majority voted to leave the European Union.

:12:03.:12:05.

No one believes there is an easy answer, but anything has to be

:12:06.:12:09.

better than having a military controlled line of partition between

:12:10.:12:16.

two neighbouring countries. I suspect there will always be rivalry

:12:17.:12:19.

between India and Pakistan, but that rivalry should be contained to the

:12:20.:12:26.

field of sport. In conclusion, when the Minister responds to this

:12:27.:12:31.

debate, I would ask my honourable friend not only to set out what the

:12:32.:12:35.

government position is on Kashmir, but also what more this country

:12:36.:12:43.

could do... Yes, I will give way one more time. He has been extremely

:12:44.:12:47.

generous with his time on this issue. Just before he concludes,

:12:48.:12:52.

does he agree that, while I agree with him that we need a long-term

:12:53.:12:55.

solution that is in the hands of the Kashmiri people, there is that

:12:56.:13:00.

important step beforehand, which is where the Foreign Office can play an

:13:01.:13:03.

active role, in getting both sides round the table to negotiate a

:13:04.:13:07.

peace, a stability, a calming of that situation, so that people,

:13:08.:13:14.

children's lives are not lost in the meantime. Let's get that summit

:13:15.:13:18.

going, to have peace, and then think of a longer term solution. I

:13:19.:13:23.

entirely agree and perhaps I should have finished my sentence, because

:13:24.:13:27.

that was exactly what I was saying. Because what I was saying is that,

:13:28.:13:33.

when Minister responds to this debate, I will ask my honourable

:13:34.:13:37.

friend not all to set out what the government position is on Kashmir,

:13:38.:13:41.

but also what more this country could do, either through the United

:13:42.:13:46.

Nations, or working directly with India and Pakistan to bring these

:13:47.:13:50.

two nations together to find a lasting and peaceful solution to

:13:51.:13:56.

this conflict. Mr Deputy Speaker, I commend the motion to the House. The

:13:57.:14:07.

question is as on the order paper. I wish to declare that I am of

:14:08.:14:13.

Kashmiri heritage and I am privileged to be the first member of

:14:14.:14:17.

Parliament in this place of Kashmiri heritage. I also have a significant

:14:18.:14:23.

Kashmiri constituency, which has a significant interest in this issue,

:14:24.:14:27.

and back many other members in this place, who will have their

:14:28.:14:31.

constituents with an interest. This issue is, of course, about Kashmir,

:14:32.:14:38.

the key issue of Kashmiri geography and the issue of Kashmiri

:14:39.:14:42.

self-determination. Many people are very concerned about that. But for

:14:43.:14:49.

me, this issue is about violations of Kashmiri people and the human

:14:50.:14:53.

rights and civil liberties. That is the most important thing. Also the

:14:54.:14:59.

violation of the Geneva Convention by the Indian armed forces. This

:15:00.:15:10.

issue today is about Kashmir. People say Kashmiri people are under

:15:11.:15:14.

violation of human rights abuses. But this has gone on for at least

:15:15.:15:20.

six decades, when the Indian forces unlawfully invaded Kashmir in 1948,

:15:21.:15:27.

when it was an independent state. It also has the look at an issue of the

:15:28.:15:36.

fact that in 1953 and 1954, there was a resolution presented to the

:15:37.:15:42.

United Nations by the then Prime Minister, to allow the Kashmiri

:15:43.:15:45.

people the right to self-determination. And to date, to

:15:46.:15:49.

the shame of the United Nations, those resolutions haven't found

:15:50.:15:55.

their way to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Kashmiri people

:15:56.:16:02.

are still wondering whether their plight is worth the heating in the

:16:03.:16:07.

United Nations by the General Assembly. And it's very significant.

:16:08.:16:12.

I know there are numerous members who wish to speak, so I will try to

:16:13.:16:18.

be brief. In this house today, I want to recognise the work of the

:16:19.:16:22.

shadow Foreign Office team, particularly the Minister on the

:16:23.:16:29.

front bench from the shadow team, who is responsible for south-east

:16:30.:16:33.

Asia and also the shadow Secretary of State, who have made significant

:16:34.:16:38.

policy issues for the party in terms of recognising the issue of human

:16:39.:16:44.

rights and civil liberties. To the extent that the shadow Secretary of

:16:45.:16:48.

State has also written to the Secretary of State on his visit to

:16:49.:16:56.

India, asking him to raise the issue of a second visit being made, about

:16:57.:17:01.

the issue of human rights and civil liberties in Kashmir, by the

:17:02.:17:07.

Secretary of State. I hope that on his return, the shadow Secretary of

:17:08.:17:14.

State will report to the house that he has actually raise those issues

:17:15.:17:18.

with the Indian government. Also, there is currently over half a

:17:19.:17:27.

million of the Indian troops in Kashmir. They are protected, the

:17:28.:17:31.

Indian troops are protected by the special armed Forces act of 1993,

:17:32.:17:37.

which allows them complete free range, and knows them to be able to

:17:38.:17:44.

abuse people, to be able to torture people. When people go missing,

:17:45.:17:50.

there is no accountability. And there is no' that can take them to

:17:51.:17:54.

account, hold them to account in India. So this is a clear violation

:17:55.:18:03.

of the genie that convention -- the Geneva Convention for any military

:18:04.:18:06.

to be able to do this. I am surprised that we do not read this

:18:07.:18:10.

and I hope the Minister takes notice of this and reasons it with the

:18:11.:18:16.

Indian government. I thank him for giving way and I congratulate the

:18:17.:18:20.

member who secured this debate. Does he agree with me that that is a

:18:21.:18:24.

particular concern about the use of pellet guns in Kashmir, and does he

:18:25.:18:29.

agree with me and Amnesty International that there should be a

:18:30.:18:32.

ban on the use of pellet guns, which are causing such serious injuries to

:18:33.:18:37.

so many people? I thank her for that. This is an issue will come in

:18:38.:18:47.

my speech, but at the moment, I agree with what she is saying. I am

:18:48.:18:54.

talking about the half a million soldiers in Kashmir, who currently

:18:55.:19:02.

have no control over how they behave, how they abuse the people.

:19:03.:19:07.

There are serious concerns in Kashmir, particularly in terms of

:19:08.:19:17.

the civilian population. We are concerned about when a woman leaves

:19:18.:19:20.

the house, whether she is a mother or daughter or wife, that she leaves

:19:21.:19:31.

the house, and not knowing what state should return in comic even if

:19:32.:19:34.

she returns. There are issues of gang rapes by the military. And

:19:35.:19:39.

absolutely atrocious act by any individual. I am sorry to interrupt

:19:40.:19:46.

such a passionate speech. One of the things I think the government failed

:19:47.:19:51.

to recognise is the passion and worry and fear that our

:19:52.:19:57.

constituents, or Jewish citizens of Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri

:19:58.:20:01.

extraction, feel about this issue. Would you agree that the Minister

:20:02.:20:04.

and government need to listen and start paying attention to the needs

:20:05.:20:10.

and demands of their citizens? She makes a very valid point,

:20:11.:20:16.

particularly in relation to the issue of abuse of women. We don't

:20:17.:20:20.

allow and accept this in any other country at all. And why should we

:20:21.:20:27.

allow this to go unchecked by the Indian forces, by the Indian Army,

:20:28.:20:35.

in India, in Kashmir. I find this absolutely absurd that the we should

:20:36.:20:39.

be making far stronger representation, and I would urge the

:20:40.:20:45.

Minister to do that. When a man goes out of the house, whether he is a

:20:46.:20:49.

father or husband or son, there is absolutely no guarantee he is going

:20:50.:20:52.

to come back and what state he will come back. What acts, we have seen

:20:53.:20:59.

beatings, we have seen videos on YouTube and Facebook. In those,

:21:00.:21:06.

people are summary eaten up in the streets, I held by military

:21:07.:21:14.

personnel and beaten literally to within an inch of their life. They

:21:15.:21:19.

are tortured, they are taken away, people go missing. In some

:21:20.:21:23.

instances, when they go missing, nobody comes back. That is a serious

:21:24.:21:29.

issue. Children in Kashmir have no stake in the normal community or

:21:30.:21:33.

society. We expect our children to have a proper education in normal

:21:34.:21:38.

society, but Kashmiri children don't have an ounce of that protection to

:21:39.:21:44.

be able to have that. Then they go out into the streets, as my

:21:45.:21:48.

honourable friend from Nottingham said earlier on, they are treated

:21:49.:21:52.

and greeted with pellets and suchlike. They have no problem

:21:53.:21:57.

education facilities, they have no health care, they have no real stake

:21:58.:22:03.

in the society they are part of, this is the sixth generation of

:22:04.:22:06.

Kashmiri people who are growing under the tyranny and they have no

:22:07.:22:11.

protection whatsoever. The issues I want to come to, it is an absolutely

:22:12.:22:20.

horrendous act by the military. Where they have specifically

:22:21.:22:29.

targeted, not just for of parts, but specifically aiming at upper parts

:22:30.:22:36.

of the body, the face, the eyes. Where is the number of people who

:22:37.:22:43.

have lost their eyesight? Those people are not even allowed medical

:22:44.:22:47.

treatment once they have done that, because you will know when a body is

:22:48.:22:53.

scanned, it is magnets that are used. And when those bullets are

:22:54.:22:58.

inside, the medical group will not use those cans on them, because

:22:59.:23:02.

Apple further assist the movement of those metallic pellets that is

:23:03.:23:06.

inside them, which would lead possibly to further injury, whether

:23:07.:23:13.

it is an airhead or eyes are upper body, including the heart arteries

:23:14.:23:15.

and everything else that goes along with that. So that would cause a

:23:16.:23:20.

significant issue for most people. These are the issues of the using of

:23:21.:23:24.

pellet guns. Also, when somebody is penetrated with these pellets, when

:23:25.:23:31.

they go through security barrier, it will be easy for people to be able

:23:32.:23:34.

to see when they are going through, to assess that that person has been

:23:35.:23:40.

involved in those sort of abuses. So the pool that person out and they

:23:41.:23:45.

are again held accountable, and that is torture of a community and the

:23:46.:23:49.

whole society. We have had a report on the buried evidence, unmarked

:23:50.:23:57.

mass graves, produced by the international people's Tribunal on

:23:58.:24:02.

human rights. Again, a human rights activist who has produced a whole

:24:03.:24:07.

report of significant numbers of mass graves, that she has found

:24:08.:24:13.

through her organisation. Unfortunately, not to note is taken

:24:14.:24:18.

by anybody. No notice is taken by any government, and particularly our

:24:19.:24:22.

government. We are, if this was to happen anywhere else, there would be

:24:23.:24:25.

a huge outcry and there would be people crying for international war

:24:26.:24:33.

crimes tribunal is to be held and to be dealt with. So I do see that is

:24:34.:24:38.

an urgent debate after this as well and there is a significant number of

:24:39.:24:41.

colleagues who wish to speak. I would like to conclude just purely

:24:42.:24:44.

on the basis of the fact that this is an issue of human rights,

:24:45.:24:52.

contravention of the human rights Convention and are likely to take

:24:53.:24:56.

notice of these three things. I'd like to see what he's going to do

:24:57.:24:59.

about it and how he will have an interaction with the Indian

:25:00.:25:03.

government, to hold them to account. If anyone wants to be a serious

:25:04.:25:08.

partner with United Kingdom, these are the responsibilities they must

:25:09.:25:11.

carry and these are the issues very important to my constituents and all

:25:12.:25:14.

others in this place, and to make sure that is considered an taken

:25:15.:25:16.

forward. To give everyone equal time, can we

:25:17.:25:25.

take up to eight minutes to make sure we all get a fair crack of the

:25:26.:25:30.

whip. I would like to congratulate my honourable friend for securing

:25:31.:25:34.

the debate and being a strong advocate for Kashmir and Kashmiris

:25:35.:25:37.

within the chamber. India and With over 40 million refugees

:25:38.:25:48.

crossing the new Pakistan India border for safety. A small piece of

:25:49.:25:56.

land today is an unstable home for 12 million Kashmiris. On the 24th of

:25:57.:26:02.

January 1949, the first group of United Nations military observers

:26:03.:26:05.

arrived to oversee a ceasefire between India and Pakistan. Almost

:26:06.:26:11.

70 years later, India and Pakistan have evolved but Kashmiris still a

:26:12.:26:14.

region beset by political disagreement, violence and human

:26:15.:26:20.

rights violations. -- Kashmir is stellar region. The conflict has

:26:21.:26:27.

left more than 47,000 people left, which also include 7000 police

:26:28.:26:31.

personnel. The death toll continues with India and Pakistan at an

:26:32.:26:38.

impasse, denoted in a House of Commons recess paper which states

:26:39.:26:42.

currently the two governments of India and Pakistan are engaged in a

:26:43.:26:46.

process of re-approach when. This is not the first such process but has

:26:47.:26:50.

given rise to optimism. That paper was written in 2004. India and

:26:51.:26:55.

Pakistan still have nowhere. Optimism has run dry, and bloodshed

:26:56.:27:02.

on bullets in Kashmir takeover. UN observations have taken place at

:27:03.:27:05.

various times since 1949 at considerable cost but to what

:27:06.:27:09.

effect? Resolutions have been passed, calling for a ceasefire is

:27:10.:27:18.

for security forces to be withdrawn and the opportunity for Kashmiris to

:27:19.:27:21.

determine their own future. The cornerstone of any civilised

:27:22.:27:29.

democracy. Give way. The UN clearly has a pivotal role in Kashmir, but

:27:30.:27:34.

does my honourable friend believe that the UN has a sufficient skills

:27:35.:27:37.

and resources and political will to do what we are expecting that to

:27:38.:27:43.

secure peace? He makes a very good point. Considerable skill, I would

:27:44.:27:48.

say yes, considerable resources, I would say yes. Political will, that

:27:49.:27:53.

is where the UN is falling down. 70 years have been lost and Kashmir

:27:54.:27:57.

pays the price was lost lives and livelihoods. Last year they saw an

:27:58.:28:01.

unprecedented level of violence with 68 civilians killed and more than

:28:02.:28:07.

9000 injured during months of violence, the bloodiest episode in

:28:08.:28:12.

Kashmir's recent history. The shame of the international community for

:28:13.:28:14.

failing to recognise the violence and lack of offered to support

:28:15.:28:19.

Kashmiri civilians is a bloody stain on all the history books. And

:28:20.:28:28.

impartial and international mission is crucial, with full free and

:28:29.:28:35.

complete access. The UN continued to receive reports of Indian forces

:28:36.:28:36.

using for administration, yet India has

:28:37.:28:50.

to investigate allegations of human to investigate allegations of human

:28:51.:28:51.

that not just India but also that not just India but also

:28:52.:28:55.

Pakistan have to allow UN access to Kashmir to evaluate the damage the

:28:56.:28:57.

conflict has caused before it becomes another footnote in

:28:58.:29:03.

Kashmir's history. The UN has had 70 years to help Kashmiris but instead

:29:04.:29:12.

has wilfully continued this line for too long. I ask the Minister, what

:29:13.:29:22.

pressure does the UK -- can the UK put on the UN, taken advantage of

:29:23.:29:28.

our privileged position on the security council? The UN have to

:29:29.:29:32.

show humility and backbone to their statements. No resolution nor

:29:33.:29:39.

conciliation can be given until there is acceptance of the light

:29:40.:29:44.

damage. We have a real role to play with the hand of friendship and

:29:45.:29:49.

partnership. Pakistan is one of our greatest recipients of aid funding

:29:50.:29:56.

in tackling terrorism, and last year the Prime Minister visited India to

:29:57.:29:59.

secure a substantial trade deal. What discussions took place on

:30:00.:30:05.

Kashmir during the recent trip, and could he update the House on his

:30:06.:30:09.

recent discussions with his counterparts in Pakistan and India?

:30:10.:30:14.

The Prime Minister of India said if any -- any dialogue requires an

:30:15.:30:21.

environment free from terrorism and violence. He is absolutely right.

:30:22.:30:24.

The recent escalation of violence creates terror when no authority is

:30:25.:30:33.

trusted, not even those in places meant to offer protection. Pallet

:30:34.:30:37.

forces are being used by security forces. The Indian government has

:30:38.:30:40.

advised the use of pellet guns should be rare and only in present

:30:41.:30:46.

circumstances, but the Central of the badge reserve police force

:30:47.:30:48.

continues to use them persistently. They cause life-threatening

:30:49.:30:53.

injuries, and blinding people, and so fat over 9000 people have been

:30:54.:30:59.

injured. By their nature, pellet guns are the antithesis of targeted

:31:00.:31:03.

position, they spray and main to a 6-foot circle, it is impossible to

:31:04.:31:09.

limit the number of casualties with a 6-foot fan of pellets. These are

:31:10.:31:13.

not precision weapons or defensive weapons. When used in open public

:31:14.:31:19.

places, they must constitute a human rights violation. Anyone and

:31:20.:31:24.

everyone within that 6-foot circle is a target with a pellet gun, even

:31:25.:31:30.

children sitting at home. A 12-year-old was in the courtyard of

:31:31.:31:34.

his home not protesting, but in his home when his eyes were hit by

:31:35.:31:41.

pellets. Both his eyes are injured, with little vision left. He is

:31:42.:31:44.

recovering in a hospital where the department is stating they are

:31:45.:32:07.

the demand is so high. Depressingly with surgeries

:32:08.:32:08.

forced to tweak the Prime Minister forced to tweak the Prime Minister

:32:09.:32:10.

be sent to help those with injuries. be sent to help those with injuries.

:32:11.:32:12.

-- tweet. Seemingly the best way to get help is to send each week to.

:32:13.:32:16.

This is how desperate the situation has come. -- at tweet. Does he agree

:32:17.:32:29.

that this weapon constitutes a crime when used in public places? The

:32:30.:32:34.

central reserve police force have refused to share the operating

:32:35.:32:37.

procedure for this lethal weapon. Can he put pressure on India to

:32:38.:32:42.

disclose their justification and perhaps the Indian authorities can

:32:43.:32:46.

share with us which other liberal democracy uses such a weapon on its

:32:47.:32:51.

own people? Can I also ask the Minister to share with the House

:32:52.:32:57.

what medical support is being provided to Kashmiri hospitals?

:32:58.:33:00.

These violations should be arguments enough for access the observations.

:33:01.:33:05.

Violence will not disappear by observation, -- violations will not

:33:06.:33:17.

disappear. This is not a regional issue. India and Pakistan both have

:33:18.:33:21.

nuclear weapons. The stakes are high. Pakistan is disputed to have

:33:22.:33:25.

the 11 strongest military in the world and is also ranked more

:33:26.:33:31.

frighteningly as the 14th most fragile country. This regional

:33:32.:33:35.

dispute is not so regional when two nuclear powers fail to resolve such

:33:36.:33:39.

a volatile dispute. It has the potential to threaten us all.

:33:40.:33:45.

Especially as the terror has taken a new violent form. The importance of

:33:46.:33:48.

access to books and education is key to building a strong community and

:33:49.:33:54.

for the first time schools and educators are no targets. Village

:33:55.:33:57.

schools are being targeted for destruction and these -- 24 have

:33:58.:34:00.

been burnt to the ground last year. I want to raise the issue of one

:34:01.:34:05.

school, if I can. One particular school was built in 1948. The

:34:06.:34:12.

principal rushed to the school as it was burning to the ground. He cried

:34:13.:34:16.

out that the school was like his home was being burned. This is no

:34:17.:34:25.

ordinary school, built in 1948 it held 3000 books. Schools on fire,

:34:26.:34:29.

teachers worrying for their lives, and books burned, the future is

:34:30.:34:37.

bleak. In conclusion it is in all of our interests that the crisis in

:34:38.:34:42.

Kashmir is recognised and the force of the international community

:34:43.:34:46.

supports the UN and all of our diplomatic relations are forced to

:34:47.:34:58.

finding a resolution for Kashmir. Through, -- through you, let me pass

:34:59.:35:02.

good wishes to the Speaker on his birthday. There was a long queue for

:35:03.:35:13.

people wishing him happy birthday, and I think it is important as well.

:35:14.:35:20.

2.5 years ago, this House last debated Kashmir. And this is only

:35:21.:35:25.

the second debate in nearly 20 years. I must declare that I am the

:35:26.:35:36.

chair of the British all-party parliamentary group, a person of

:35:37.:35:45.

Indian origin, born in India, studied there, and I came here. I do

:35:46.:35:51.

not know how many of you have visited Kashmir. I think in my own

:35:52.:35:59.

life, from my school days until now, I have visited Kashmir 14 times. So

:36:00.:36:07.

I am quite familiar with the economic, social and political

:36:08.:36:16.

conditions of that place. I am not saying anything here say with any

:36:17.:36:25.

vested interests, at the lump formed information. I am saying that

:36:26.:36:31.

because -- or ill informed information. I am saying that

:36:32.:36:34.

because I have seen what has happened, and the political

:36:35.:36:38.

situation over there. After listening to previous speakers, I

:36:39.:36:48.

feel sad that we are bringing the issues which are not linked at all,

:36:49.:36:57.

not happening the way you're presenting it. Look at the political

:36:58.:37:09.

situation. I strongly support... For the last 45 years I have canvassed,

:37:10.:37:16.

campaigned on human rights issues. Where India has violated human

:37:17.:37:21.

rights I have criticised. I have criticised India many times on many

:37:22.:37:28.

other traditions happening, whether government or people failed. That is

:37:29.:37:34.

where I feel strongly that the way we are debating Kashmir issues

:37:35.:37:43.

are untrue and not relevant to the are untrue and not relevant to the

:37:44.:37:51.

situation. Give way. Does he accept, he mentions he visited there are 14

:37:52.:37:53.

times, but does he accept that the times, but does he accept that the

:37:54.:37:56.

Indian authorities make it exceptionally difficult for British

:37:57.:37:59.

members of parliament to visit that part of the world? I am sure that it

:38:00.:38:08.

is happening. The reason is that when you wanted to go and visit a

:38:09.:38:14.

prejudices before you go. If you prejudices before you go. If you

:38:15.:38:18.

have declared beforehand what you think is happening there, publicly

:38:19.:38:27.

me one example of a government that me one example of a government that

:38:28.:38:32.

has allowed people to go to the country that you criticised. Give

:38:33.:38:40.

way. I thank the honourable member who is well respected in this House

:38:41.:38:45.

for his expertise, does he at least accept that by speaking up against

:38:46.:38:51.

human rights violations in any country, one is not necessarily

:38:52.:38:59.

against that country? The danger is we are taking time off someone else

:39:00.:39:03.

by interventions. I do not mind having the debate, but I want to

:39:04.:39:04.

Thank you. I am not saying that is treat everyone equally.

:39:05.:39:13.

Thank you. I am not saying that is the way you present the argument is

:39:14.:39:18.

right, no government, no authority will allow you to do when you are

:39:19.:39:23.

not free of your own will... I think I carry on. I am sure you will be

:39:24.:39:38.

speaking later on. I am very grateful. My honourable friend, I am

:39:39.:39:43.

chair of the justice for Columbia group, I criticised the Colombian

:39:44.:39:47.

government time and time again and they let me into the country where I

:39:48.:39:54.

criticised them again. If we look at the history, what is happening since

:39:55.:40:03.

1947, after 1948, when the line of control was declared, when it was

:40:04.:40:13.

ceasefire, India and Pakistan, which we on one side are advocating should

:40:14.:40:18.

be part and parcel of that negotiations, have attacked India in

:40:19.:40:25.

1965, 1971, to change that line of control. Again, in 1999, Pakistan

:40:26.:40:36.

tried to seize an opportunity to redraw the internationally accepted

:40:37.:40:42.

line of control. Three times, 1965, 1971, 1999. Having been unsuccessful

:40:43.:40:49.

in full-scale military manoeuvres to take control of more of Kashmir,

:40:50.:41:00.

since... They have turned towards terrorism to further their aims. In

:41:01.:41:07.

2004, Pakistan made a public commitment to prevent terrorist

:41:08.:41:10.

groups using their territory to plan, prepare or launch attacks

:41:11.:41:19.

against India. Since then, the Pakistani spy agency have been

:41:20.:41:27.

indicated in India's most notorious terrorist incidents, most notably,

:41:28.:41:33.

the 2008 Mumbai attacks which left nearly 200 bed. This behaviour... I

:41:34.:41:42.

will come onto Kashmir as well, but I'm giving the background. This

:41:43.:41:46.

behaviour is readily seen across Kashmir. Fighters from Pakistan...

:41:47.:42:03.

These terrorists are there to destabilise the region, they do not

:42:04.:42:07.

help the people of Kashmir, they do not make anyone stronger, they only

:42:08.:42:12.

further the misery of millions. Since the 1948 riots, there have

:42:13.:42:19.

been attempts to cleanse the region of native people opposed to Pakistan

:42:20.:42:26.

interventions. In the 1990s, we saw the most sustained activity aimed at

:42:27.:42:36.

driving Kashmiris from the Kashmir valley. Whereas a quarter of a meal

:42:37.:42:45.

-- million lived in Kashmir in 1947, there are now only around 20,000.

:42:46.:42:55.

The majority now live in camps, desperate to return to their

:42:56.:42:59.

homeland, unwilling to settle elsewhere. The threat of communal

:43:00.:43:08.

violence looms large, and ever present threat for millions. This is

:43:09.:43:13.

why we see images of shoulders across Kashmir, they are there to

:43:14.:43:19.

protect citizens of all stripes, people who want to go to work,

:43:20.:43:25.

school or University are only allowed to do so under the

:43:26.:43:30.

protection of the Indian Army. Without the protection of Indian

:43:31.:43:34.

troops, we can see to easily what happens. Horrifying stories of

:43:35.:43:38.

brutality from Peshawar school attacks, it left 132 schoolchildren

:43:39.:43:48.

died, assassination attempts... Very few members of this house would have

:43:49.:43:55.

done anything but a firm that actions of the British Army in

:43:56.:43:59.

trying to maintain the status quo in Northern Ireland. The Army is there

:44:00.:44:09.

to ensure to protect the border, and just like they did in Belfast, to

:44:10.:44:15.

make sure that young boys and girls, from catholic and Protestant

:44:16.:44:17.

families, can continue to live the lives they want to. The national

:44:18.:44:26.

Human Rights Commission of India have been free to criticise and call

:44:27.:44:29.

for punishment whether all of law has not been upheld to rigorous

:44:30.:44:35.

standard -- where the rule of law. This is not a level of freedom

:44:36.:44:38.

allowed to these residents and Pakistan, recognised as the world's

:44:39.:44:48.

leading sponsor of terrorism. Following the State elections in

:44:49.:44:55.

2014, I will give way soon... We are now on 11 minutes, we are well over,

:44:56.:45:02.

it is a very important matter, but I want to make sure everyone gets a

:45:03.:45:11.

say. By working everyday for a safer, more prosperous Kashmir, the

:45:12.:45:17.

Indian government is fulfilling its remit, people desire a life

:45:18.:45:21.

unblemished by random acts of terror, where they are free to

:45:22.:45:26.

pursue education, employment and peaceful lives. Why must we again

:45:27.:45:33.

listen to hyped media accusations rather than looking at the evidence

:45:34.:45:39.

of peaceful elections? I rise to support the motion and in

:45:40.:45:43.

congratulating my honourable friend on security in the debate and also

:45:44.:45:46.

congratulating him on the spirit with which he moved the motion. I am

:45:47.:45:51.

very proud we are having this, the second debate, in the time since I

:45:52.:45:55.

was elected, and I'm very proud to be in a position in which I stood on

:45:56.:46:00.

the 15th of September, 2011. I am very proud of the UK and Wycombe's

:46:01.:46:05.

Kashmiris for the dignity and determination with which they

:46:06.:46:08.

presume this issue. Despite the difficulty of doing so. And in the

:46:09.:46:13.

context of the seriousness of the issues involved. I wish to make

:46:14.:46:18.

three points to the Minister. The first, about the intractability of

:46:19.:46:21.

the issue. The second about some lessons from our own referendum. The

:46:22.:46:24.

third about how we might make progress. It is the long-standing

:46:25.:46:30.

position of the Government that this is a matter for the two independent

:46:31.:46:34.

nations of India and Pakistan to resolve. I have found a reliably,

:46:35.:46:41.

that within the Foreign Office, this issue is known with some graveyard

:46:42.:46:48.

humour, sorry, gallows humour, as the graveyard of Foreign Secretary

:46:49.:46:53.

's and that is a matter of very considerable regret. The issue of

:46:54.:46:56.

self-determination as we have seen in the UK is not one to be thought

:46:57.:47:01.

of as impossible to meet, we have just met it and I think this is a

:47:02.:47:07.

moment when the Foreign Office should know self-determination is

:47:08.:47:09.

not an issue on which no progress can be made in the 21st-century. I

:47:10.:47:14.

think it is not good enough to adopt this policy and I do not mean that

:47:15.:47:18.

as a criticism of this government because I am acutely aware, as

:47:19.:47:23.

everyone here will know, that this is a long-standing policy which

:47:24.:47:26.

governments of all colours have taken. I mean no criticism of this

:47:27.:47:29.

government and its minister but I do wish to say that it is not good

:47:30.:47:33.

enough to continue this policy. It is not good enough for two reasons.

:47:34.:47:37.

First, it is incumbent on all of us in this House to represent the many

:47:38.:47:41.

thousands of people in our constituencies whose origins, family

:47:42.:47:47.

origins, will be either Indian or Pakistani or Kashmiri, they deserve

:47:48.:47:52.

to have their voices heard in this place and internationally. I will.

:47:53.:47:58.

Just briefly. I think he is making a very important point. What Kashmiris

:47:59.:48:04.

say to me, particularly in Nottingham and across the country,

:48:05.:48:07.

it is almost there is a sense in which there needs to be a much

:48:08.:48:13.

greater urgency from everyone to actually tackle this problem. It has

:48:14.:48:17.

been going on for decades and people worry about that in ten years, 20,

:48:18.:48:24.

30, people will stubbly discussing the same issue. That is why I begin

:48:25.:48:29.

with this point about intractability because the other reason it is not

:48:30.:48:32.

good enough to adopt the current position is that it is a legacy of

:48:33.:48:36.

the British Empire and we should acknowledge our historic

:48:37.:48:39.

responsibility. There is a conversation to be had here about

:48:40.:48:42.

world views and willingness of individuals to accept ancestral

:48:43.:48:47.

response will it be but that is perhaps for another day. What I'm

:48:48.:48:51.

saying is that just because it is difficult to make a stand on this

:48:52.:48:55.

issue, it does not mean it is not the right thing to do. It is the

:48:56.:48:59.

right thing to do, to make a stand, as the British Government, on this

:49:00.:49:03.

question. I would just like to pose some questions about lessons which

:49:04.:49:08.

we might learn from our own referendum because I think those of

:49:09.:49:12.

us who are asking for a referendum for the fulfilment of United Nations

:49:13.:49:19.

mandates, we have to ask ourselves, what if we win, what if we make

:49:20.:49:23.

progress, what if a referendum were held? I want to make two points. The

:49:24.:49:28.

first is, on what collective basis could such a referendum be held?

:49:29.:49:31.

What would be the day must assume who would vote? -- what would be

:49:32.:49:36.

that day mosque? Who would vote? We know there are those who do not wish

:49:37.:49:41.

to accept a national referendum result. We know the Scottish

:49:42.:49:46.

National Party upon the point of how Scotland voted. These will all be

:49:47.:49:50.

live issues in the event of the referendum being held in Kashmir. I

:49:51.:49:56.

would appeal to the Kashmiris who work on this issue to give very

:49:57.:50:02.

serious thought to what the demos would be and on what basis the

:50:03.:50:05.

result will be considered legitimate by all parties. The other issue

:50:06.:50:11.

which is an issue of the first seriousness is we saw in our own

:50:12.:50:15.

country, in the UK, where politics generally precedes no further than

:50:16.:50:21.

harsh language, that passions ran extremely high. In a region of the

:50:22.:50:27.

world where life complex amongst major powers, nuclear armed powers,

:50:28.:50:34.

it is a risk, I think we have to ask ourselves, how would a referendum in

:50:35.:50:39.

Kashmir proceed peacefully, not just during the course of the campaign,

:50:40.:50:45.

but afterwards as well? I would also make finally on this point something

:50:46.:50:50.

about unity. I know there are British Kashmiris in Whickham who

:50:51.:50:53.

voted remain and many who did not vote at all but they supported this

:50:54.:50:57.

fundamental principle that we should have had a referendum and I'm very

:50:58.:51:03.

used to stand with them united that as we go forwards which have a

:51:04.:51:08.

referendum for Kashmir. The third point is perhaps the most

:51:09.:51:12.

contentious. How should we make progress as Jim at the honourable

:51:13.:51:16.

gentleman who preceded me described as untrue some of the things which

:51:17.:51:19.

this House has already heard in the course of this debate. This is a

:51:20.:51:24.

very important point. We have heard at different times Pakistan accused

:51:25.:51:29.

of state-sponsored terrorism, we have heard India accused of using

:51:30.:51:33.

inappropriate weapons, of gang rape, of murder. I do not wish to see the

:51:34.:51:41.

wrath these nations slandered. Of course, the crucial difference

:51:42.:51:46.

between a valid charge and a slander is the issue of truth. -- I do not

:51:47.:51:52.

wish to see either of these nations slandered. I want a relentless focus

:51:53.:51:58.

on objective fact. I know what I have seen with my own eyes of the

:51:59.:52:04.

video shown to me, I have seen what purports to be Indian soldiers

:52:05.:52:06.

beating confessions from a man and I have seen a video of what purports

:52:07.:52:14.

to be Indian soldiers killing a man in the rubble of his own home in

:52:15.:52:19.

Kashmir. They are images which I would prefer I had never seen and

:52:20.:52:22.

which I would never wish to see again. The crucial question is, are

:52:23.:52:29.

they a set up? Are they propaganda? Are they true question they are

:52:30.:52:36.

true, the issue of Kashmir is a matter for the whole world. -- are

:52:37.:52:47.

they true? If they are true. The overwhelming consensus is that we

:52:48.:52:52.

should stay out of Indian affairs. But I would say that if these

:52:53.:52:56.

allegations are true, the whole world cannot stay out of Kashmir and

:52:57.:53:02.

India and Pakistan's affairs. I will not give way. I am being encouraged

:53:03.:53:06.

to wrap up. I would say to the Government, I understand the Foreign

:53:07.:53:11.

Office thinks the issue is intractable but we have seen in our

:53:12.:53:14.

own country, it need not be. There are lessons to be learned, the

:53:15.:53:18.

Government can facilitate them. For goodness sake, let us recognise that

:53:19.:53:21.

if even a fraction of the allegations being made are true,

:53:22.:53:25.

this is an urgent and pressing issue for the whole world. Thank you. The

:53:26.:53:34.

House will know of my very long-standing interest in the issue

:53:35.:53:41.

of Kashmir. In my consistency, there are many thousands of British

:53:42.:53:44.

citizens of Kashmiri extraction who have made their home in my

:53:45.:53:49.

constituency and I take an interest on their behalf and also a more

:53:50.:53:54.

personal interest because my own family originate from Kashmir, or

:53:55.:54:00.

four of my grandparents were born in Kashmir and before my family moved

:54:01.:54:04.

to this country, so this debate has very personal resonance for me,

:54:05.:54:09.

former constituency, myself my own family. The number has already set

:54:10.:54:17.

out the background to the very long-standing dispute. -- the

:54:18.:54:21.

member. I pay tribute to those who led the charge to get the debate

:54:22.:54:26.

today. We have heard already that it is a very long-standing dispute

:54:27.:54:32.

between two nuclear armed powers in one of the world's most heavily

:54:33.:54:36.

militarised regions and it does not receive enough attention anywhere

:54:37.:54:40.

outside of that region around the world and certainly not in our own

:54:41.:54:44.

country, given the size of our British Kashmiri bop elation. It has

:54:45.:54:49.

a lot of attention from that population but not enough from those

:54:50.:54:53.

outside of that. I pay tribute to all of the campaign is on this issue

:54:54.:54:59.

for, from all sides of the House, who have been taking every

:55:00.:55:02.

opportunity available to raise this very serious matter in the House of

:55:03.:55:06.

Commons and to press our government, both the current government and

:55:07.:55:10.

previous governments, to do more to up to build a resolution to the

:55:11.:55:13.

long-standing crisis. The further push for debate

:55:14.:55:22.

regarding Kashmir has come in particular as a result of the

:55:23.:55:29.

upsurge in violence that we have seen in India-administered Kashmir

:55:30.:55:34.

from last summer. What we see there is the unacceptable failure of the

:55:35.:55:40.

whole world and the denial to give effect to UN resolutions, to

:55:41.:55:46.

represent the self determination of the Kashmiri people. The people have

:55:47.:55:50.

lost hope and are rising against that loss of hope to try and force

:55:51.:55:58.

their rights to be respected. That upsurge in violence had illicited a

:55:59.:56:04.

brutal response from the Indian authorities. I disagree with my

:56:05.:56:10.

honourable friend, I do not believe it is possible to minimise the

:56:11.:56:14.

extent to which the Indian authorities have acted in a

:56:15.:56:19.

disproportionate manner that has created great tragedy for the

:56:20.:56:24.

Kashmiri people in that region. This is the biggest uprising in two

:56:25.:56:32.

decades and the brutality of the Security Services cannot be ignored.

:56:33.:56:39.

And that is seen by human rights organisations across the world,

:56:40.:56:42.

including human rights watch, who found that the police and security

:56:43.:56:49.

forces have acted with impunity and there have been killings and mass

:56:50.:56:53.

rape and I concur with the comments made in the speech by the member for

:56:54.:56:58.

High Wycombe that of course there will be questions about the voracity

:56:59.:57:03.

of the videos we see on social media, but there should be an open

:57:04.:57:09.

investigation to prove the voracity of the videos and if they are true,

:57:10.:57:13.

which I I believe they will be found to be true, then there are big

:57:14.:57:18.

questions for India to answer. A and there is a difference between the

:57:19.:57:23.

Indian Government and the other Governments that commit human rights

:57:24.:57:27.

abuses is that India is the largest democracy in the world and as a

:57:28.:57:32.

democracy it is not simply giving a vote to your people, it includes

:57:33.:57:36.

more, that is about respect for the rule of law and basic human rights

:57:37.:57:41.

which have to be protected and sit alongside the ability of a people to

:57:42.:57:48.

elect their own Government. Due to time I would be doing other members

:57:49.:57:54.

out of time. The use of pellet gun has also been raised by members

:57:55.:57:59.

already. But I think this is a significant issue for the Indian

:58:00.:58:03.

Government eight is something on which our Government must press them

:58:04.:58:08.

more. The Indian defence for the use of pellet guns to seal off

:58:09.:58:13.

protesters who they say are throwing stones that is pellet guns are

:58:14.:58:18.

non-lethal. A pellet gun is probably not going to kill you, but I defy

:58:19.:58:25.

anybody to see pictures of victims to say that is a proportionate use

:58:26.:58:30.

to use against civilians in a democracy. It is not and nobody I

:58:31.:58:33.

believe in this House of Commons will stand up and say that it is.

:58:34.:58:43.

Often when we have debated Kashmir, people who speak more in favour of

:58:44.:58:46.

Indian Government stance on this will say, well, the position for

:58:47.:58:52.

those that live in Kashmir is better, because they can vote and

:58:53.:58:56.

they can take part in the democratic process and that they are basically

:58:57.:59:00.

free so that self-determination is not necessary, because these are a

:59:01.:59:05.

free people electing their own leaders with a significant

:59:06.:59:11.

devolution of power. Well, nobody, not one person, in Kashmir has voted

:59:12.:59:15.

to be hurt, to be injured, to be beaten up, to be raped to be blinded

:59:16.:59:24.

or killed and pellet wounds are a brutal response and send a brutal

:59:25.:59:30.

message to people and leave brutal scars. They are not just carried by

:59:31.:59:38.

the individuals physically, but by the whole community, both in the

:59:39.:59:43.

region and around the world for those of us of Kashmiri descent. It

:59:44.:59:49.

is a sign of desire to resist repression. That cry to be heard is

:59:50.:59:55.

falling on deaf ears in the largest democracy in the world, which wants

:59:56.:59:58.

to do more business with the rest of the world and play a greater role in

:59:59.:00:04.

world affairs. I'm afraid to say that current position is simply not

:00:05.:00:09.

acceptable and our government must not shy away from making that plain.

:00:10.:00:14.

Especially in relation to the use of pellet guns. Tremendous appalling,

:00:15.:00:20.

sustained and deliberate misery has been visited upon the people of

:00:21.:00:26.

Kashmir for too long. The stories of disappearances of the discovery of

:00:27.:00:32.

mass graves that has brought no feshl UN -- initial UN-led

:00:33.:00:39.

information and the impunity of security forces and the special

:00:40.:00:45.

powers act. If a people are humiliated, abused and offered only

:00:46.:00:49.

despair and no answers and no rights, then there will be uprising.

:00:50.:00:55.

It is inevitable and none of us as responsible legislators also working

:00:56.:00:59.

in a democracy can sit back and watch those events unfold and sit on

:01:00.:01:05.

our hands. We can do more. The legacy of empire demands we do more.

:01:06.:01:11.

We have a duty to speak out more regularly and challenge and

:01:12.:01:14.

encourage both the Indian and the Pakistani authorities, I have to say

:01:15.:01:17.

to the minister, the written answers to the questions that have been

:01:18.:01:21.

tabled, particularly last summer, are so bland it is as if these

:01:22.:01:28.

matters are something that is just a daily occurrence that can be

:01:29.:01:41.

ignored. There are other disputes that gain more responses. There has

:01:42.:01:44.

been no answer on whether the Prime Minister raised the issue of human

:01:45.:01:48.

rights abuses with the Indian Government. It is not enough to tell

:01:49.:01:53.

us the issue of Kashmir was raised, we need to know whether human rights

:01:54.:02:02.

were raised. I believe it is now incumbent upon the British

:02:03.:02:05.

Government to make a clear call at the UN to raise this issue at the

:02:06.:02:11.

united nations to ask for an independent investigation and review

:02:12.:02:15.

so we can demonstrate that while some parts of this world see this as

:02:16.:02:20.

a foregopt conflict -- forgotten conflict, we will never forget it

:02:21.:02:25.

and we will keep fighting. Thank you and a pleasure to follow the

:02:26.:02:29.

honourable lady for Birmingham. I would also like to commend my

:02:30.:02:34.

honourable friend the member for Bury North in the calm manner which

:02:35.:02:44.

he introduced the debachlt bate. So far in this debate no one has yet

:02:45.:02:52.

mentioned that the 19th January 1990 was an evil day in the history of

:02:53.:03:01.

Kashmir. This was the day when 65,000 Hindus were forcibly expelled

:03:02.:03:09.

from the Kashmir valley by Islamic Jihadist, under the slogan - die,

:03:10.:03:14.

convert or leave. And they only forced the men out, they said, leave

:03:15.:03:20.

your women, we will convert them, we will rape them and make them all

:03:21.:03:26.

Muslim. The reality is that one of sad facts of this very largely

:03:27.:03:32.

foregont area of -- forgotten area of conflict has been that we have a

:03:33.:03:38.

religious element to this as well an aspect of where people wish to live.

:03:39.:03:45.

I had the opportunity last year in February of visiting Kashmir and I

:03:46.:03:56.

went to the area and I was able to meet people of all walks of life.

:03:57.:04:04.

But in particular the people of Chamber of Commerce, who came with a

:04:05.:04:10.

series of opportunities, not only opportunities for trade, Hydro

:04:11.:04:16.

Electric power, for the opportunities of agriculture, of

:04:17.:04:20.

canning goods to be sold across the world, of using the beauty of the

:04:21.:04:27.

Kashmir valley to attract tourists to this area, an area we would all

:04:28.:04:33.

love to visit and our people from across the world to be able to

:04:34.:04:37.

visit. But the one fundamental issue they all raised was that of safety

:04:38.:04:47.

and security. And the reality is Wen when is when we talk about the

:04:48.:04:50.

suffering that has taken place in the region, we have to concentrate

:04:51.:04:56.

on the human rights abuses and violations that have taken place on

:04:57.:05:03.

the Hindus, on the Sikhs, and also the minority Muslims. The sad fact

:05:04.:05:10.

is that this has been used as a means of literally ethnically

:05:11.:05:13.

cleansing this part of world. We should remember as part of back

:05:14.:05:17.

ground and I hope when the minister replays to this debate that he will

:05:18.:05:24.

-- replies to this debate, when he will mention what the authorities

:05:25.:05:30.

have identified as terrorism being one of major causes of concern to

:05:31.:05:35.

the European Union and to India. They jointly in their communique

:05:36.:05:43.

condemned the terror attacks in Brussels, Paris, and recalled the

:05:44.:05:47.

November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. And called for the

:05:48.:05:52.

perpetrators to be brought to justice. Leaders called for decisive

:05:53.:06:05.

and united actions to be taken against Isil and other international

:06:06.:06:09.

active terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. The reality is these

:06:10.:06:15.

terrorist groups all operate from Pakistan. They are along the

:06:16.:06:20.

international line of control. And the reality is they are infiltrating

:06:21.:06:26.

terrorists into the sovereign state of Kashmir. Before I go on, we have

:06:27.:06:33.

had contributions from colleagues, we should remember that the

:06:34.:06:39.

fundamental elements of this is when Britain ceased to be the colonial

:06:40.:06:49.

power, the decision on where states decided to opt for Pakistan or

:06:50.:06:58.

Indian control was left to each state and the Mara ja signed the

:06:59.:07:04.

instrument of accession to India, bringing the state under India on

:07:05.:07:11.

26th October 1947. So we should be clear under international law, the

:07:12.:07:15.

whole of Kashmir is an integral part of India. It is the crowning glory

:07:16.:07:22.

of India. As such, every other aspect has gone on after that has

:07:23.:07:26.

been violations of international law. The UN resolution which has

:07:27.:07:32.

been alluded to by several members, of course we must remember the very

:07:33.:07:39.

detail of this. It was Prime Minister Nehru that took the issue

:07:40.:07:45.

to the UN in the first place, seeking very importantly the

:07:46.:07:48.

Pakistani forces that illegally occupy part of the sovereign state

:07:49.:07:58.

of Kashmir to leave. And the United Nations resolutions called on, the

:07:59.:08:02.

first element is the illegally occupying forces of Pakistan to

:08:03.:08:07.

leave cash mish and then for -- Kashmir and then for the Indian

:08:08.:08:11.

forces to reduce to what is required for security and only then for a

:08:12.:08:16.

decision to be made on a plebiscite of, for the people as to what should

:08:17.:08:22.

be their destiny. Pakistan has never accepted that and never complied

:08:23.:08:27.

with that resolution and that is one of reasons why we have this

:08:28.:08:30.

challenge and problem today. I will give way. He is making a very

:08:31.:08:35.

articulate case, does he think there is any chance of India engaging in

:08:36.:08:39.

confidence-building measures on this point with Pakistan, so that that

:08:40.:08:43.

element of the resolution might ever be fulfilled. Is India willing to

:08:44.:08:49.

give appropriate assurances? Thank you. I can't speak for the

:08:50.:08:55.

Government of India. And the role of the UK now is we ceased to be a

:08:56.:09:01.

colonial power. We are not the power going to tell India or Pakistan what

:09:02.:09:06.

to do. One reason I'm concerned it is could be misinterpreted in other

:09:07.:09:08.

parts of world in this respect. I know the Deputy Speaker will hold

:09:09.:09:21.

me to account. There have been numerous violations of the ceasefire

:09:22.:09:26.

along the line of control and the recent upsurge in violence which was

:09:27.:09:30.

mentioned by my honourable friend for Bury North, there have been

:09:31.:09:36.

studies with the Indian troops were killed and murdered, the shells, the

:09:37.:09:43.

GPS units, everything else, it came from Pakistan, they are Pakistani

:09:44.:09:49.

military use. It is quite clear that Pakistan was behind that particular

:09:50.:09:56.

conflict. I would also mention that the number of violations across the

:09:57.:10:01.

line of control have been frequent, well-documented and need to be

:10:02.:10:03.

understood and the recent upsurge in violence, of course, came about as a

:10:04.:10:11.

result of the Indian forces eliminating the Jihadi John poster

:10:12.:10:19.

boy of jihad. What I would just say in my final remarks, the use of

:10:20.:10:25.

pellet guns and the other human rights abuses have been taken up by

:10:26.:10:32.

the state government of Kashmir, they have had four debates on the

:10:33.:10:34.

subject and the human rights abuses subject and the human rights abuses

:10:35.:10:42.

fully investigated and any have been called to account, will

:10:43.:10:43.

fully investigated and any perpetrators will be punished. I

:10:44.:10:47.

state is looking after those aspects state is looking after those aspects

:10:48.:10:53.

and what we want to see is a peaceful resolution to this position

:10:54.:11:08.

and the people of Kashmir and Ladakh being able to live in peace and

:11:09.:11:12.

harmony. Can I take this opportunity to congratulate the honourable

:11:13.:11:16.

member for Bury North in securing this very important debate today? As

:11:17.:11:26.

vice-chair of the old -- all-party parliament regroup, I want to put

:11:27.:11:32.

that on the record. I am privileged to be able to take part in this

:11:33.:11:36.

extremely important debate, one that I know matters deeply to many of my

:11:37.:11:42.

constituents and also matters deeply to me personally. I also... My

:11:43.:11:47.

family also originate from the state of Kashmir and I know the region

:11:48.:11:54.

very well. Whilst the seriousness of this issue means that I could talk

:11:55.:11:59.

at great length, time not permitting, I will try to keep my

:12:00.:12:03.

contributions to several key areas. The first key area which I wish to

:12:04.:12:07.

cover and the one I believe is the most pressing is the long-standing

:12:08.:12:13.

and ongoing human rights abuses taking place in that region. It has

:12:14.:12:19.

been mentioned last summer and long after, we saw the devastating

:12:20.:12:22.

deployment of pellet guns resulting in the indiscriminate maiming and

:12:23.:12:28.

blinding of hundreds and hundreds of Kashmiris. We also saw the horrific

:12:29.:12:36.

photos of the aftermath of the use of pellets, the bloodied faces of

:12:37.:12:43.

demonstrators and children, images that we would all like to forget.

:12:44.:12:47.

But security forces did not stop there. We saw thousands injured and

:12:48.:12:55.

internet cut and phone lines were strained and the region placed under

:12:56.:13:00.

strict curfew, moves we would expect under a repressive regime and not

:13:01.:13:07.

one which has the hallmarks of a free, open and liberal society. The

:13:08.:13:13.

abuse then turned deadly with the illegal use of live ammunition, by

:13:14.:13:18.

security forces, on unarmed demonstrators, resulting in their

:13:19.:13:25.

deaths. Unfortunately, however, this is nothing new. The reality is that

:13:26.:13:30.

human rights abuses have gone on largely unchecked for decades in

:13:31.:13:37.

that region. Something well-documented by many

:13:38.:13:38.

well-respected human rights organisations. Unaccountability for

:13:39.:13:44.

these crimes is rife and if we are to address the abuses, Mr Deputy

:13:45.:13:50.

Speaker, we must first look at the draconian Indian Armed Forces

:13:51.:13:55.

special Powers act, an instrument which allows the security forces to

:13:56.:14:01.

escape justice and accountability. Only ever intended to be invoked on

:14:02.:14:07.

a temporary basis of the special Powers act has continued in force

:14:08.:14:14.

since 1990. It has been widely criticised by well-respected human

:14:15.:14:17.

rights organisations with numerous calls for it to be repealed, calls

:14:18.:14:28.

which I repeat here today. It grants security forces in the region

:14:29.:14:31.

heavy-handed powers to kill, arrest and search and it is because of this

:14:32.:14:35.

act we have seen near unspeakable horrors and abuses of human rights,

:14:36.:14:42.

extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, tortures, mass

:14:43.:14:47.

rapes, children orphaned, and according to recent figures

:14:48.:14:52.

published in the Journal of conflict resolution, between 1989 and 2010,

:14:53.:15:02.

there were almost 7000 killings, 118 civilians arrested, almost 10,000

:15:03.:15:06.

women rate or molested and as many as 10,000 Kashmiri use forcefully

:15:07.:15:17.

disappeared -- women raped. If we are in any doubt that it is taking

:15:18.:15:20.

place, and I must say that I do disagree with my honourable friend

:15:21.:15:26.

from Ealing South, I think these abuses are well documented and to

:15:27.:15:32.

deny that is to go against many well-respected human rights

:15:33.:15:38.

organisations and to also go against the evidence and footage, both

:15:39.:15:45.

photographic and video, that we have seen with our own eyes. I do

:15:46.:15:50.

think... I'm a comeback. Time is limited. -- I may come back. It has

:15:51.:16:00.

been mentioned in the House today, we must not turn a blind eye to

:16:01.:16:05.

abuses taking place. We must not ignore them. We must not stand by.

:16:06.:16:12.

We must send a clear message today that wherever it takes place,

:16:13.:16:18.

injustice is injustice and will never be tolerated. The second

:16:19.:16:27.

issue, Mr Deputy Speaker, is the issue around self-determination,

:16:28.:16:29.

specifically the rights of the sons of daughters -- sons and daughters

:16:30.:16:34.

of Kashmir. Determination and the urgent need for them to be able to

:16:35.:16:39.

exercise this right. A lot has been said around the United Nations

:16:40.:16:45.

resolution 47, calling for a plebiscite on the future of the

:16:46.:16:49.

region and it is this resolution but I feel is crucial to the story of

:16:50.:16:57.

Kashmir, past and present. It is a non-binding resolution, that is why

:16:58.:17:02.

we have not seen the plebiscite take place in that region. However, I

:17:03.:17:09.

call here today again, we need to see the implementation of that

:17:10.:17:12.

resolution, whether it is called the UN resolution 47, a free and fair

:17:13.:17:19.

plebiscite, whatever we want to name it, the ultimate choice must be for

:17:20.:17:23.

the sons and daughters of Kashmir to determine their own destiny. For

:17:24.:17:28.

over 70 years of the sons and daughters of Kashmir have waited for

:17:29.:17:35.

their voice to be heard, they have been waiting to make their decision

:17:36.:17:38.

on their future determine their lives. For over 70 years, they have

:17:39.:17:46.

been denied their birthright to self-determination and the

:17:47.:17:50.

international community must today allow what is fair, proper and allow

:17:51.:17:55.

the sons and daughters of Kashmir the birthright. In concluding, time

:17:56.:18:01.

not permitting, of course this is an area I am very passionate about and

:18:02.:18:05.

I could go on, but in concluding, I want to again give the Minister, and

:18:06.:18:12.

the Minister knows in this very House, I have asked him to use the

:18:13.:18:18.

opportunity to condemn the abuses in human rights in that region and I

:18:19.:18:25.

ask him again today, please use this opportunity on behalf of the

:18:26.:18:29.

Government to condemn those abuses and at the very least, Minister,

:18:30.:18:35.

please accept that the abuses taking place. Secondly, please assure us

:18:36.:18:40.

they are doing everything they can to allow for a peaceful resolution

:18:41.:18:45.

on the basis of the sons and daughters of Kashmir determining

:18:46.:18:48.

their own destiny, something which is very much overdue. Thank you. And

:18:49.:18:56.

I first congratulate the honourable member for securing this timely and

:18:57.:19:03.

important debate? It is said that in war there are no winners, only

:19:04.:19:06.

losers. If so, the people of the Kashmir region have paid too great a

:19:07.:19:13.

price. Since the UN resolution in 1948, almost 70 years, we have been

:19:14.:19:22.

no closer to self-determination. Many will speak today about the last

:19:23.:19:30.

six month and backward steps. Curfews, censorship, the death of

:19:31.:19:36.

military personnel on both sides and military personnel on both sides and

:19:37.:19:45.

food shortages, refugee crisis civilians, the economy

:19:46.:19:45.

food shortages, refugee crisis caused by displaced civilians and

:19:46.:19:46.

community... Geek divisions on both control. We ask

:19:47.:19:55.

community... Geek divisions on both sides of the line of control and

:19:56.:19:58.

progress is well and truly in reverse -- deep divisions. It has

:19:59.:20:03.

been the position of this government and successive governments that the

:20:04.:20:07.

issue of Kashmir is for India and Pakistan to resolve at a pace that

:20:08.:20:10.

they see fit in a way they see fit. It is not for this government to

:20:11.:20:17.

intervene. But then what is it that this House and this country stands

:20:18.:20:23.

for? We have lost of life, widely reported human rights abuses and

:20:24.:20:26.

United Nations that cannot gain genuine access to the Kashmir

:20:27.:20:30.

valley. To our shame, we raised this issue with both sides, but every

:20:31.:20:34.

time any member of this government had been challenged to raise this

:20:35.:20:39.

issue directly at the when, as far as we can tell, it has been politely

:20:40.:20:45.

declined, deflected and ignored. Those that live in the region and

:20:46.:20:48.

those of us that followed the events in Kashmir closely will know that it

:20:49.:20:53.

is a deep underlying tension that has scarred one of the most

:20:54.:20:57.

beautiful places in the world. We have all seen the pictures and

:20:58.:21:00.

reports of the aggressive tactics used to silence dissent and squash

:21:01.:21:05.

civil unrest. The people are restless. And rightly so. It has

:21:06.:21:12.

been nearly 70 years since partition and we are no closer to being in

:21:13.:21:16.

control of their own destiny. The reports that have come out of the

:21:17.:21:19.

region have been tragic and disturbing. Estimates put the

:21:20.:21:25.

civilian deaths somewhere between 85-120. The civilian casualties is

:21:26.:21:29.

estimated to be over 13,000 because of action by security services. We

:21:30.:21:35.

have thinking indication restricted, internet and telephone services, and

:21:36.:21:37.

an attack on the free press, in particular the Kashmir Reader who

:21:38.:21:41.

are banned for publishing for months. Many have talked about use

:21:42.:21:51.

of pellets. The question of how... The pellets have a six metre

:21:52.:21:56.

dispersal. It is by any definitive and indiscriminate use of force when

:21:57.:22:01.

used in a crowd. Reports have shown that many civilians have lost their

:22:02.:22:05.

eyesight because of this modern form of crowd control. One of the widely

:22:06.:22:10.

reported stories I heard that struck me was that of a 14-year-old girl

:22:11.:22:16.

who died of respiratory illness. She died as a result of inhaling chile

:22:17.:22:23.

gas. For six days, she lived with burns to her throat and lungs and

:22:24.:22:29.

eventually passed away in hospital on a ventilator. The motion itself,

:22:30.:22:32.

in relation to the motion, it raises a number of issues that need

:22:33.:22:41.

consideration by the House, the consideration

:22:42.:22:41.

Government needs to do more at the Government needs to do more at the

:22:42.:22:43.

tension, to encourage both sides to tension, to encourage both sides to

:22:44.:22:46.

give the UN access to the Kashmir valley and assess reports of human

:22:47.:22:53.

rights violations. Does she agree that one of the more constructive

:22:54.:22:57.

things this government could do is press for an independent inquiry

:22:58.:22:59.

into human rights abuses conducted by the UN which has helped in other

:23:00.:23:05.

situations of around the world? I thank her for intervening and I

:23:06.:23:08.

absolutely agree, we need to push for an independent inquiry. We are

:23:09.:23:13.

not asking the Government to prescribe how Pakistan and India can

:23:14.:23:17.

resolve the entrenched issue of peace in Kashmir but everyone here

:23:18.:23:20.

would recognise that with the situation as it is on the ground,

:23:21.:23:25.

with civilians being killed and impoverished, there can be no

:23:26.:23:27.

progress towards peace and resolution. We have an obligation to

:23:28.:23:31.

do everything in our power to help the region return to a level of

:23:32.:23:37.

normality. I use that term loosely. Before any progress can be made

:23:38.:23:42.

towards peace. What this motion also recognises is that for any meaning

:23:43.:23:46.

of lasting peace in the region, the people of Kashmir have to have the

:23:47.:23:51.

freedom and security to make that decision for themselves. We don't

:23:52.:23:56.

talk about self-determination of the Kashmir people but under current

:23:57.:24:00.

occupation, without lasting local representation, can we truly expect

:24:01.:24:04.

to reach a position where the will and wishes of a people in this

:24:05.:24:10.

region would be heard and truly listen to? Prizes like this are met

:24:11.:24:15.

with excessive force, only further entrenching differences. -- up

:24:16.:24:18.

roses. This has played out many times since the 1990s. The bodies of

:24:19.:24:23.

swellings are counted and the people who survive and struggle to live in

:24:24.:24:26.

the region become further embittered.

:24:27.:24:29.

It is in the interest of Pakistan and India to improve the relations

:24:30.:24:39.

for the safety and security of prosperity of people who live in the

:24:40.:24:43.

region. The situation requires strong international leadership, not

:24:44.:24:47.

to force them into a solution, but to invest in the foundation that can

:24:48.:24:51.

lead to peace and the self-determination of the Kashmir

:24:52.:24:53.

people and I call on this Government to take the lead. We have a

:24:54.:24:59.

responsibility, 70 years in the making, we have as a nation have an

:25:00.:25:06.

interest invested -- vested interested in both countries. We are

:25:07.:25:11.

linked to both countries, we have had a major impact on their history

:25:12.:25:14.

and we must help them create that future for them. We have signed a

:25:15.:25:21.

massive trade deal with India, the China/Pakistani economic corridor

:25:22.:25:26.

will impact on the wider world. There is an international

:25:27.:25:29.

perspective and it is in our benefit. I spent my teenage years in

:25:30.:25:38.

what is known as Kashmir. The area's name means free - free to go to the

:25:39.:25:43.

shops, free to play and to go into the street, free to visit, and go

:25:44.:25:47.

where I want to go and my family do. And my family continue to be in the

:25:48.:25:55.

area and enjoy the freedoms. But the children in occupied Kashmir do not

:25:56.:26:02.

have them freedoms. A son might not be returning with his eye sight,

:26:03.:26:06.

that is 70% of his abilities as a human being. I know that from my

:26:07.:26:12.

experience in working in disabilities, a young girl may not

:26:13.:26:18.

return, but if he does, has she been raped? And we cannot and must not

:26:19.:26:26.

abdicate our responsibility. It is shameful for this Government if it

:26:27.:26:31.

continues in its inaction. I would ask members to support this motion

:26:32.:26:35.

and call on the Government to use its climate to help much Pakistan

:26:36.:26:43.

and India in a more prosperous relationship. Our lives begin to end

:26:44.:26:48.

the day we become sigh sent about things that -- silent about things

:26:49.:26:52.

that matter. This House cannot remain silent on the the issue any

:26:53.:27:01.

more. It is a tragedy that we are still here debating this issue,

:27:02.:27:06.

although grateful to members for securing the debate. Here we are are

:27:07.:27:13.

again. It is a couple of years since we had a substantive discussion, as

:27:14.:27:20.

we have been hearing, 70 years on since that petitioning --

:27:21.:27:25.

partitioning of this region, where of course the UK, Britain, had an

:27:26.:27:29.

integral responsibility and had a role. It is for that reason that we

:27:30.:27:34.

can't wash our hands of this problem and ignore it. The UK does have a

:27:35.:27:38.

long-standing duty and responsibility to take an interest

:27:39.:27:41.

and to be involved in this particular issue. And we have heard

:27:42.:27:48.

of course about the United Nations resolution and the call for a

:27:49.:27:52.

plebiscite to give that opportunity to solve the issue and yet nothing

:27:53.:27:57.

really moves forward. The frustration is palpable, I know from

:27:58.:28:02.

many of my honourable friends in the chamber, we don't relish having to

:28:03.:28:05.

come here and talk about this issue time and time again and yet it is

:28:06.:28:09.

something we find ourselves having to raise and so you know decades on

:28:10.:28:16.

we find ourselves talking about some of the tragedies that are occurring.

:28:17.:28:22.

Yes, there are occasionally brief spells of calm that are then broken

:28:23.:28:28.

by rising tensions, by conflict, by the flare up of issues, often

:28:29.:28:34.

because there are funerals which breach curfews that are put in place

:28:35.:28:41.

and those in turn escalate conflict in a heavily militarised part of the

:28:42.:28:44.

world and on and on the cycle goes. We have heard very much from members

:28:45.:28:49.

opposite about the effect of pellet guns, which is something I'm glad

:28:50.:28:54.

many members have raised and the need for us to ensure that the UK

:28:55.:29:00.

Government makes it clear that there are appropriate and inappropriate

:29:01.:29:07.

ways to address civil issues when they arise on the streets. There are

:29:08.:29:11.

a lot of different organisations, parts of community, that have a role

:29:12.:29:14.

to play. I believe that the UK does have a role to play here. The United

:29:15.:29:19.

Nations clearly has a role here and it can't and it shouldn't be parked

:29:20.:29:24.

away, often because there is little media coverage. There is not much

:29:25.:29:28.

information about what is happening in this part of world. And clearly

:29:29.:29:34.

India and Pakistan don't just have a role, they have a responsibility to

:29:35.:29:38.

do more to move away from the heat and the conflict in this situation

:29:39.:29:41.

and find a better path to the future. And I also believe, because

:29:42.:29:45.

we can see this in other conflicts zones around the world, that perhaps

:29:46.:29:50.

a wider regional approach to finding peaceful solutions is also something

:29:51.:29:56.

that should be explored. Often where there are bilateral disa agreements

:29:57.:30:01.

between two countries in one region, trying to finds ways of saving face

:30:02.:30:06.

on either side is incredibly difficult, as we have seen in the

:30:07.:30:10.

middle east. There are arguments about involving other parties and

:30:11.:30:14.

nations in that part of world to think about ways of breaking this

:30:15.:30:21.

particular deadlock. I also think the Kashmiri community want to have

:30:22.:30:27.

a role and do have a role, their a very vocal community in our country

:30:28.:30:33.

and I think it is, as I have said to many groups that exist to press or

:30:34.:30:40.

the attention to human rights and press for self-determination, it

:30:41.:30:43.

would help if they can all co-ordinate, work together and also

:30:44.:30:48.

communicate with members of Parliament in the new ways that we

:30:49.:30:51.

need to operate. We are not getting information about what is happening

:30:52.:30:55.

in that part of world. I think there is much more that could be done,

:30:56.:31:00.

even on social media to make sure the wider community, policy makers

:31:01.:31:06.

are aware of some of the issues. And I do think that effective

:31:07.:31:09.

co-ordination would make a difference. So I would say we need

:31:10.:31:14.

to start to think laterally about how to crack through this problem,

:31:15.:31:19.

so we are not here again in two years time. What are the mechanisms

:31:20.:31:22.

that could be open to try and find peaceful solutions? Well, I I think

:31:23.:31:30.

that you the UK also has a role and should think about promoting

:31:31.:31:37.

peace-keeping, encouraging governments to demilitarise and stop

:31:38.:31:41.

the attacks and they should promote peace-building, which means

:31:42.:31:49.

reversing some of the destructive steps that have been taking and they

:31:50.:31:56.

should searching for negotiated solutions. Leaders Leaders in

:31:57.:32:04.

Pakistan and India have to dial back on aggression and not be provoked by

:32:05.:32:08.

individual attacks. Although there is difficult if they feel

:32:09.:32:11.

governmental forces are alleged to be behind certain attacks. That

:32:12.:32:16.

normalisation of situation in Kashmir is essential, so we can open

:32:17.:32:21.

the routes and the channels for dialogue. We have to, as my

:32:22.:32:26.

honourable friend for Bradford east and Birmingham said, go back to the

:32:27.:32:34.

rule of law as a matter of urgency. To have accountability for the

:32:35.:32:37.

police and the armed forces, where that has been lacking in many ways.

:32:38.:32:43.

So I would call on the minister and the UK Government. I know there is a

:32:44.:32:47.

long-standing position in terms of Foreign Office's policy on this. But

:32:48.:32:52.

to think about ways of promoting conflict resolution, promoting

:32:53.:32:55.

confidence-building measures between the different sides. For example, a

:32:56.:33:01.

summit to learn the lessons of peace-making tactics that have been,

:33:02.:33:05.

where the UK have been involved in times past. We know in Northern

:33:06.:33:09.

Ireland it was a long-standing conflict and took a long time to get

:33:10.:33:16.

people around the same table. There is expertise the UK Government has

:33:17.:33:19.

and should find ways of applying it. I also think it is worth thinking

:33:20.:33:24.

about economic development. And the role that economic development and

:33:25.:33:30.

regeneration could have in reciprocation for dialogue we might

:33:31.:33:33.

want to have. That has worked in other situations as well. So there

:33:34.:33:37.

are many people who want the take part in the debate and I would want

:33:38.:33:43.

to thank those from the Pakistani Kashmiri community who have made

:33:44.:33:47.

strong representations to me. I'm going to be hosting on Friday 24th

:33:48.:33:53.

February a Nottingham round table on the issue and try to bring together

:33:54.:33:57.

as independently as I can, all those with an interest in the issue to try

:33:58.:34:01.

and drill down into what the community is looking for and the

:34:02.:34:04.

solutions that might be viable and to make those representations to the

:34:05.:34:09.

Government. But I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to make that

:34:10.:34:12.

point to the minister today. Thank you and it is a pleasure to follow

:34:13.:34:16.

my honourable friend for Nottingham East. Particularly because I thought

:34:17.:34:23.

it was a very solution-focussed speech. I would like to thank the

:34:24.:34:29.

member for Bury North for securing and leading in terms of securing the

:34:30.:34:36.

debate. I first visited Kashmir in 2011 after I was elected to serve

:34:37.:34:46.

Rochdale. Kashmir was just as beautiful and the people as

:34:47.:34:50.

welcoming as I told. But I knew this part of this world was fraught with

:34:51.:34:54.

fear and tension. I heard from people on the ground about the human

:34:55.:34:58.

rights abuses regularly carried out by the Indian army and since I have

:34:59.:35:03.

kept a close eye on the situation. The brutality of the Indian army was

:35:04.:35:07.

seen in full force last summer when unrest broke out in the region. The

:35:08.:35:11.

use of live ammunition and pellet guns again public sector crowds was

:35:12.:35:16.

entirely disproportionate and has been described by a number of

:35:17.:35:20.

speakers today. I thank hi colleagues particularly for having

:35:21.:35:23.

already raised those issues with our government. Tensions are still

:35:24.:35:30.

simmering, manifesting in small clashes that could in the future

:35:31.:35:35.

escalate. In such circumstances, Britain does have to step up to the

:35:36.:35:41.

mark. We all know the old pottery barn rule, you break it, with well

:35:42.:35:46.

then you have to fibgts. Thanks to -- you have to fibgts. Thanks to

:35:47.:35:54.

imperial history there are plenty of broken pots across the world. It is

:35:55.:35:58.

not acceptable for the British Government to wash their hands,

:35:59.:36:02.

something I believe they're doing. And while I accept Pakistan and

:36:03.:36:08.

India must at the front of striking a deal, there is no reason why

:36:09.:36:14.

Britain can't play a more active role in bringing people around the

:36:15.:36:17.

table and monitoring the human rights situation. It is my

:36:18.:36:20.

understanding that during the British Prime Minister's meeting

:36:21.:36:28.

with Indian premier, the issue of human rights abuses was not even

:36:29.:36:32.

raised. Would the minister be able to confirm this when he wraps up? If

:36:33.:36:38.

it's true what does it say about Britain's place in the world?

:36:39.:36:42.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister outlined her vision for a

:36:43.:36:48.

global Britain. A Britain which was confident across the world. I

:36:49.:36:51.

welcome this ambitious vision for our country. But I have my

:36:52.:36:57.

reservations. I believe that this new outlook cannot solely be without

:36:58.:37:01.

forging trade links across the world. The promotion of human rights

:37:02.:37:05.

and liberal democratic values must be at the heart of British foreign

:37:06.:37:12.

policy. If we are truly to wish to be a positive global player. I worry

:37:13.:37:17.

in the coming years human rights will be pushed further down the

:37:18.:37:21.

agenda as the Government seeks to secure Britain's economic future. We

:37:22.:37:26.

have a expanded team working op international trade, who I'm sure

:37:27.:37:30.

will be keen to strike some sort of free trade deal with India. I wonder

:37:31.:37:34.

what this will mean for the people of Kashmir. It is perfectly

:37:35.:37:42.

reasonable for a Prime Minister to raise sensitive issues like human

:37:43.:37:45.

rights behind closed doors, as many Prime Ministers have done with their

:37:46.:37:50.

counter parts in India previously. However, I'm not confident that

:37:51.:37:53.

going forward this will happen. I would like the Government to provide

:37:54.:38:01.

me and Britain's Kashmirry population with reassurances that

:38:02.:38:06.

settling Kashmir will remain a part of the UK's dialogue with India and

:38:07.:38:11.

Pakistan. Lastly, I would like too add that this not just about India

:38:12.:38:17.

and Pakistan finding a solution, Kashmiries must also be part of any

:38:18.:38:22.

future dialogue. Britain should promote their voice, a voice which

:38:23.:38:27.

is too often shut out. And while we talk about human rights today. It is

:38:28.:38:31.

important to remember the most important right for a peoples is the

:38:32.:38:36.

right to self-determination. Therefore, I believe that it is

:38:37.:38:39.

incumbent on the British Government to help the people of Kashmir

:38:40.:38:42.

determine their own future. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for for

:38:43.:38:53.

the member for Bury East for bringing the debate today. The

:38:54.:38:57.

political situation in Kashmir continues to be a long-drawn-out

:38:58.:39:03.

conflict, ranging back to 1947. Since then there there have been

:39:04.:39:07.

surges in violence leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians in

:39:08.:39:12.

the area. Attempts a dialogue have been made by the Pakistani and

:39:13.:39:17.

Indian Governments, ultimately these have amounted to nothing substantial

:39:18.:39:22.

for the people of Kashmir and their calls for self-determination.

:39:23.:39:29.

brutal 2010 has now been overshadowed by the summer of 2016

:39:30.:39:46.

when we witnessed a tragic series of events which appeared to constitute

:39:47.:39:51.

a violation of human rights. The killing of a rebel leader in

:39:52.:39:57.

Kashmir, revered by the Pakistani population and known as a terrorist

:39:58.:40:02.

by the Indian state, saw hundreds of Kashmiri citizens flood to the

:40:03.:40:06.

streets in protest against the killing, such events are triggers

:40:07.:40:12.

undoubtably in this long-standing conflict, often perpetrated by a

:40:13.:40:17.

feeling of frustration and anger by the Kashmiri community who have

:40:18.:40:21.

often found themselves restricted by curfews, limits to their freedom of

:40:22.:40:26.

speech and at times humiliated at the hands of Indian officials. The

:40:27.:40:32.

protesters threw stones when confronted by the Indian military.

:40:33.:40:37.

The retaliation by the Indian military was staggering, they used

:40:38.:40:41.

pellet guns in an attempt to disperse the crowds, although the

:40:42.:40:46.

use of live bullets and CS gas also were noticeably present. By the end

:40:47.:40:50.

of August, after six weeks of violence, 6000 civilians were

:40:51.:40:53.

injured, almost 1000 of those suffered injuries to their eyes.

:40:54.:41:00.

Pellet guns are seen as non-lethal crowd control weapons. But they have

:41:01.:41:05.

devastating and long-lasting consequences. In a report, the

:41:06.:41:12.

international network of civil liberties organisations and doctors

:41:13.:41:17.

for human rights made clear, I quote, pellet rounds cause and

:41:18.:41:22.

indiscriminate spray of an emission spreading widely and cannot be aimed

:41:23.:41:28.

and are likely to be legal at close range and likely to be inaccurate

:41:29.:41:33.

and indiscriminate at longer ranges. Most countries prohibit the use of

:41:34.:41:39.

metal shots as excessively dangerous but several countries, such as

:41:40.:41:44.

Bahrain and Egypt, use it regularly. It appears we should add India to

:41:45.:41:48.

this list of states too. India is the largest democracy in the world

:41:49.:41:52.

with a thriving economy and increasingly educated population. I

:41:53.:41:56.

am therefore appalled by their attitude to the use of such methods

:41:57.:42:00.

which are causing such damaging and at times life-threatening effects.

:42:01.:42:08.

In the long term, such methods increase feelings of anger and

:42:09.:42:10.

resentment within the Kashmiri community that no doubt will spring

:42:11.:42:14.

over when something is triggers a reaction. I understand from an

:42:15.:42:20.

answer by the baroness in the other House on the 23rd of December, in

:42:21.:42:26.

response a question put forward on the 14th of December, that she

:42:27.:42:29.

assures us the government of India is reviewing the use of pellet guns

:42:30.:42:35.

in Kashmir. In a recent report it is suggested India will in future swap

:42:36.:42:38.

this non-lethal method for alternative mechanisms. Whilst this

:42:39.:42:44.

is welcomed, India must make a click it not used pellet guns in the

:42:45.:42:46.

future and that any alternative crowd control mechanisms must be as

:42:47.:42:54.

proportionately -- must be used proportionately and be in line with

:42:55.:42:57.

human rights laws. India and Pakistan are both friends of the UK

:42:58.:43:02.

but we should use this friendship to drive forward a policy of dialogue

:43:03.:43:05.

between them on the issue of Kashmir. Respect for human rights,

:43:06.:43:10.

freedom of speech and freedom of expression also. I strongly condemn

:43:11.:43:16.

the violence in Kashmir, in particular the use of pellet guns,

:43:17.:43:21.

and whilst we welcome the review into the review of that, it may fall

:43:22.:43:25.

short of a clear commitment. As a member of the UN Security Council, I

:43:26.:43:29.

really urge the Government to raise the matter of the human rights

:43:30.:43:34.

abuses at the UN and to call for an investigation into the abuses.

:43:35.:43:37.

Certainly, the contribution by my honourable friend, a wider look at

:43:38.:43:44.

the human rights throughout the world, a review of that, that would

:43:45.:43:49.

be welcome. It is in everybody pulls in interest that dialogue continues

:43:50.:43:53.

on the issue of Kashmir said that a long sustainable solution is found

:43:54.:43:57.

for the conflict that has already gone on for too long -- it is in

:43:58.:44:04.

everybody's interests. The number of members we have got to want to catch

:44:05.:44:07.

my eye for this debate and the following debate it means we will

:44:08.:44:11.

drop the unofficial limit, there is no official limit, to 5-6 minutes,

:44:12.:44:21.

and then we will come in on time. If members can keep to that, it would

:44:22.:44:27.

be great. Thank you. I rise to support the motion to congratulate

:44:28.:44:31.

the honourable member for Bury North for securing this debate. Like many

:44:32.:44:37.

members, I represent a richly diverse constituency whose people

:44:38.:44:42.

and that origins, more than 120 countries. Those whose family roots

:44:43.:44:46.

are in Kashmir on one of the largest groups and one of the very many

:44:47.:44:51.

advantages of having so many diaspora communities within my

:44:52.:44:57.

constituency is that when we see issues around the world, we feel

:44:58.:45:02.

them back home. For example, when the devastating earthquake hit

:45:03.:45:11.

northern Pakistan in 2005, killing 90,000 people, leaving 3.5 million

:45:12.:45:17.

homeless and destroying infrastructure, we felt the pain in

:45:18.:45:20.

Sheffield. Through friends and neighbours whose families were in

:45:21.:45:24.

the region. The city responded. As well as offering immediate support,

:45:25.:45:30.

we set about raising funds for rebuilding infrastructure and

:45:31.:45:32.

through those efforts, seven years later, Sheffield College opened on a

:45:33.:45:39.

wooded hill overlooking the city above, a community at the heart of

:45:40.:45:43.

the earthquake that had lost 10% of its population. I pay tribute to my

:45:44.:45:47.

constituents and all of those who led the fundraising. Just as the

:45:48.:45:53.

link through the diaspora community gives us a special responsibility

:45:54.:45:58.

for natural disasters beyond our control, so it gives us a special

:45:59.:46:02.

responsibility for those which we have shaped and which we can

:46:03.:46:07.

influence. The UK clearly has a special responsibility dating back

:46:08.:46:13.

to our occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and the terms of our

:46:14.:46:16.

withdrawal after independence in 1947. When we see the sort of events

:46:17.:46:22.

that have taken place since last July, it should focus us all once

:46:23.:46:27.

more on seeking a settlement to one of the most long-standing post-war

:46:28.:46:32.

grievances. The basis for the settlement should be, as others have

:46:33.:46:37.

mentioned, UN Security Council resolution 47, agreed almost 70

:46:38.:46:43.

years ago, in April, 1948, calling for a plebiscite for the people of

:46:44.:46:46.

Kashmir to determine their own future. The wave of protests and

:46:47.:46:51.

their suppression in the Kashmir valley following the killing have

:46:52.:46:59.

been a tragedy for the people of Indian occupied Kashmir and should

:47:00.:47:02.

have prompted a concerted effort by the international community for a

:47:03.:47:07.

political solution. In response to a wave of strikes and rallies,

:47:08.:47:12.

protests and demonstrations, the Indian authorities have responded

:47:13.:47:15.

and many members have made this point with what looks to all the

:47:16.:47:19.

world like disproportionate repression. In November, last year,

:47:20.:47:25.

the BBC estimated that over 85 protesters had been killed.

:47:26.:47:30.

Thousands more had been injured. As many members have cited, particular

:47:31.:47:36.

concern has been the use of pellet guns by the Indian authorities.

:47:37.:47:40.

These are guns firing shrapnel directly at protesters. As the BBC

:47:41.:47:48.

reported, despite Indian soldiers supposedly being required by their

:47:49.:47:52.

own standard operating procedure to target only the legs and only in

:47:53.:47:57.

extremely volatile conditions, honourable members have described

:47:58.:48:10.

the nature of these weapons, and 90% of those injured received injuries

:48:11.:48:16.

above the waist, horrifying injuries, and again, as the BBC

:48:17.:48:19.

reported, many children blinded. This simply cannot go on. I hope the

:48:20.:48:24.

Government will make the strongest possible representations to the

:48:25.:48:30.

Indian authorities and support that Amnesty International called for a

:48:31.:48:35.

ban on the use of pellet guns. We need to go further. We need to

:48:36.:48:40.

actively seek a political solution. When I tabled questions to the

:48:41.:48:47.

Minister, and I have high regard for the Minister, back in September, he

:48:48.:48:54.

confirmed a Government position and I quote, the long-standing position

:48:55.:48:57.

of the UK is for India and Pakistan to find a solution in Kashmir. And

:48:58.:49:04.

of course, that is right. But it is not enough. In other situations

:49:05.:49:08.

around the world, where we see the sort of injustice we see in Kashmir,

:49:09.:49:12.

and we see it exploding in the way it has recently, the international

:49:13.:49:17.

community seeks to bring pressure to bear on the protagonists to seek a

:49:18.:49:23.

solution and to engage with all the key stakeholders in making that

:49:24.:49:26.

solution real. That is why my questions in September were asking,

:49:27.:49:32.

what the UK Government was doing within the United Nations and indeed

:49:33.:49:37.

within the Commonwealth to seek action. Frankly, the replies from

:49:38.:49:42.

the Minister, that he had had no discussions and, and I quote again,

:49:43.:49:49.

that the UK does not intend to support an international conference

:49:50.:49:53.

or a plebiscite, in line with UN Security Council resolution 47, it

:49:54.:49:57.

is simply unacceptable. In conclusion, I would ask him to think

:49:58.:50:04.

again and just as the UK had played its part in creating this problem,

:50:05.:50:07.

let us play our part in finding a solution. Madam Deputy Speaker,

:50:08.:50:14.

thank you for calling me in this debate, I would also like to thank

:50:15.:50:18.

the honourable gentleman for Bury North for bringing this debate to

:50:19.:50:21.

the House. I would like to congratulate my honourable friend

:50:22.:50:24.

for her detailed and passionate speech and my honourable friend from

:50:25.:50:29.

Birmingham West for the determination and clarity with which

:50:30.:50:32.

she gave her speech. Like many others in this place, I have been

:50:33.:50:36.

horrified by the ongoing violence in Kashmir and I know that trying to

:50:37.:50:39.

get peace for the region is of enormous importance to a great

:50:40.:50:42.

number of my constituents. I remember when the honourable member

:50:43.:50:51.

for Islington South came to speak to a packed out hole in our Pakistani

:50:52.:50:54.

Kashmiri welfare Association centre, -- Hall. We heard heartbreaking

:50:55.:51:04.

stories from my constituents, and anxiety intensified by frustration

:51:05.:51:07.

at the seeming lack of political will to resolve the crisis. If the

:51:08.:51:12.

Minister had been in the hall that afternoon, he would have been left

:51:13.:51:16.

in no doubt at all about the urgency of the situation. I have also had a

:51:17.:51:20.

number of constituents contact me in the lead up to this debate,

:51:21.:51:25.

stressing their desire that peace be agreed in the short-term and

:51:26.:51:28.

self-determination for the people of Kashmir be negotiated in the long

:51:29.:51:32.

term. As we know, the long-standing position of the UK on Kashmir is

:51:33.:51:37.

that it is for India and Pakistan to find a genuine political solution,

:51:38.:51:42.

whilst respecting the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Prime Minister

:51:43.:51:46.

has previously stated it is not for the UK to prescribe solutions or act

:51:47.:51:51.

as mediator. That said, we cannot ignore the urgency of the situation,

:51:52.:51:56.

there are two nuclear powers with a volatile history of mistrust. As the

:51:57.:52:01.

Minister will be aware under the partition plan of the Indian

:52:02.:52:05.

independence act 1947, Kashmir was free to see seat either India or

:52:06.:52:09.

Pakistan. Time does not permit me to give the full history but we cannot

:52:10.:52:15.

avoid the fact there is a very clear link back to the complex and the

:52:16.:52:19.

decision made here. We have a moral duty to encourage Pakistan and India

:52:20.:52:25.

to commence peaceful negotiations to establish a long-term solution on

:52:26.:52:29.

the future governance of Kashmir, based on the rights of the Kashmiri

:52:30.:52:33.

people to determine their own future in accordance with the provisions of

:52:34.:52:39.

the UN security resolutions. So far, we have not done enough. The Prime

:52:40.:52:44.

Minister had the unique opportunity to raise human rights abuses in

:52:45.:52:47.

Kashmir when she met with Prime Minister Modi in November. We have

:52:48.:52:54.

have heard stated in the house the Parliamentary question that the

:52:55.:52:57.

Prime Minister discussed Kashmir with the Indian Prime Minister but

:52:58.:53:01.

sadly we have no information about what was said or agreed. We know

:53:02.:53:05.

that the Prime Minister engaged in a charm offensive to secure a

:53:06.:53:11.

lucrative trade deal with India. My concern, Madam Deputy Speaker, is

:53:12.:53:16.

the Prime Minister's anxiety to secure a trade deal may have

:53:17.:53:19.

diverted for comments on Kashmir. With that in mind, I would be very

:53:20.:53:23.

raised with her counterparts and the expand on what the Prime Minister

:53:24.:53:28.

raised with her counterparts and the responses she received. Did the

:53:29.:53:31.

Prime Minister, for instance, raised the issue of arbitrary and excessive

:53:32.:53:36.

force carried out by the Indian security forces? Can the British

:53:37.:53:39.

Kashmiri people be assured their Prime Minister took meaningful steps

:53:40.:53:43.

to leave Prime Minister Modi in no doubt that the conflict is

:53:44.:53:47.

completely unacceptable? Amnesty International have stated this

:53:48.:53:50.

excessive use of violence has violated international standards and

:53:51.:53:55.

worsened existing human rights crisis in the region. The world has

:53:56.:53:59.

witnessed in this flare-up of violence since July, 2016, it has

:54:00.:54:05.

left us shocked. A devastating loss of civilian life and injuries

:54:06.:54:09.

counted in their thousands, closures of universities and schools, general

:54:10.:54:14.

strikes, curfews, the closure of media outlets and mobile phone

:54:15.:54:18.

services. As we have discussed in this House, the use of pellet guns

:54:19.:54:22.

by the authorities has left people blind with severe injuries and lives

:54:23.:54:27.

have been lost. I wholeheartedly support Amnesty International's call

:54:28.:54:31.

for a ban on pellet guns being used against stonethrowing protesters.

:54:32.:54:35.

The injuries pellet guns believe are devastating.

:54:36.:54:43.

A girl who had dreams of being a doctor was hit by a bullet. She

:54:44.:54:52.

wants to know what she did wrong. A constituent told me of the state of

:54:53.:54:58.

anxiety his family live in. Some are lucky enough to have made it out to

:54:59.:55:01.

Pakistan. Others are left living in fear. The women and girls in his

:55:02.:55:06.

family don't leave the house for fear they will be raped or attacked.

:55:07.:55:12.

The men folk have to tell family where they are going, in case they

:55:13.:55:19.

don't return. According to Asia Watch rape by police and the armed

:55:20.:55:24.

militia is commonplace in Kashmir and the victims are generally poor

:55:25.:55:31.

women and those who are vulnerable and low caste. Vicious acts that go

:55:32.:55:37.

unpunished the British Kashmiri community have been at pains to

:55:38.:55:40.

stress they want a peaceful solution. The lives of their friends

:55:41.:55:46.

and family rely on it. Going forward from this debate, we must continue

:55:47.:55:51.

to call on all parties to encage in meaning -- engage in meaningful

:55:52.:55:56.

dialogue to break the cycle of violence on the breach of human

:55:57.:56:03.

rights and seek a lasting solution to the issue. The wishes of Kashmiri

:56:04.:56:10.

people must be at the forefront of those negotiations, because the

:56:11.:56:15.

world is watching. It is a pleasure to speak in this important debate.

:56:16.:56:20.

Can I congratulate my honourable friend for Batley on a fine speech

:56:21.:56:24.

and I think she is a great addition to this House. So much has been said

:56:25.:56:30.

which I could have said and doesn't need to be repeated. I commend so

:56:31.:56:37.

many of these serious, important speeches that have been made. As

:56:38.:56:45.

with many members, I represent several thousand Kashmir

:56:46.:56:49.

constituents. Many came long ago, but they have not forgotten the

:56:50.:56:54.

painful experience that continue. These experiences have become worse

:56:55.:57:00.

and we must stand against the violence. The government must be

:57:01.:57:06.

pressed to do more in international forums to secure an end to this. I

:57:07.:57:09.

have spoken before on this and have in the past been with other members

:57:10.:57:13.

to the Foreign Office making representations to ministers to

:57:14.:57:18.

press them to use their influence to help eliminate the human rights

:57:19.:57:23.

violations as a first step to restol ving the -- resolving the dispute. I

:57:24.:57:31.

have visited Kashmir to a town where many of my constituents come from. I

:57:32.:57:35.

have been too the region myself and it is not just a distant continent.

:57:36.:57:44.

Both inds and Pakistan are nuclear powers and Kashmir is the prime

:57:45.:57:47.

source of tension between the country and it is of the greatest

:57:48.:57:51.

concern to the wider world that we find a solution to the Kashmir

:57:52.:57:55.

dispute to make the world a safer place. I have had many meetings in

:57:56.:58:00.

Luton with local Kashmiri constituents, while all want freedom

:58:01.:58:04.

for the people there, there is a range of views about the future of

:58:05.:58:10.

Kashmir. Some believe it should become part of Pakistan. No doubt

:58:11.:58:14.

others will want it to remain part of India. Others want Kashmir to be

:58:15.:58:19.

an independent state. The concept that unites all is that they should

:58:20.:58:24.

decide their future for themselves. They should have self-determine

:58:25.:58:29.

nation. I support the Kashmiris in that aspiration. They should

:58:30.:58:32.

determine their own future and we should support them. Thank you.

:58:33.:58:43.

According to Reuters at least 80 citizens were killed by Indian

:58:44.:58:46.

forces between July and December last year. Many were in protests.

:58:47.:58:53.

The protest began on the 8th July after the death of Burhan Wani, the

:58:54.:58:57.

leader of the Kashmiri independence group. The authorities imposed a

:58:58.:59:02.

curfew, disabled the internet access and mobile phone networks, but this

:59:03.:59:12.

didn't prevent an escalation. Tear gas and live ammunition was used to

:59:13.:59:18.

disperse crowds. There has been expensive contributions about the

:59:19.:59:23.

use of pellet guns to disperse protesters which have the effect of

:59:24.:59:27.

blinding those they hit. And at close range, but hundreds of

:59:28.:59:33.

projectiles the, these weapons fire, can carry enough energy to penetrate

:59:34.:59:39.

skin and organs and can therefore be fatal if they are fired at much of

:59:40.:59:44.

the body. A very large number of the pellet injuries have been to the

:59:45.:59:49.

face, with 570 people seeking treatment for eye injuries as a

:59:50.:59:55.

result of pellet shootings at the main hospital in the area by 8th

:59:56.:00:00.

November. According to figures from the hospital, more eye injuries,

:00:01.:00:07.

more eye surgeries were performed in three days in July than throughout

:00:08.:00:10.

the whole of the previous three years. That cannot be right. Many

:00:11.:00:16.

children were among those who have lost their sight as a result of such

:00:17.:00:23.

tactics. In the case of a 13-year-old, the pellets penetrated

:00:24.:00:30.

deeply enough to be embedded in his lungs and heart. In that another

:00:31.:00:36.

person also 13, the pellet injurives to his head and chest were severe

:00:37.:00:43.

enough to kill him. At a minimum, this evidence that, this is evidence

:00:44.:00:46.

that insufficient care is being taken to ensure that civilians are

:00:47.:00:52.

not seriously injured by security force tactics. But it is also

:00:53.:00:58.

suggestive of something more serious, that the security forces

:00:59.:01:03.

are intentionally using tactics that in effect blind civilians to

:01:04.:01:09.

discourage protests against civilian rule, against Indian rule. According

:01:10.:01:13.

to a spokesperson for the state government the use of pellet guns is

:01:14.:01:19.

a necessary evil. But it is not. And it will never be necessary for

:01:20.:01:25.

security forces to blind children to ensure the restoration of order.

:01:26.:01:31.

Both India and Pakistan have been responsible for deaths from army

:01:32.:01:34.

shelling and military raids across the line of control in recent months

:01:35.:01:43.

in a cycle of retribution that claims civil lives and those of

:01:44.:01:47.

soldiers. There are accusations that Pakistan has used the unrest of

:01:48.:01:51.

ordinary people as a cover for renewed attempts by proxy groups to

:01:52.:01:57.

enter and further destabilise the bored regions under -- border

:01:58.:02:01.

regions under Indian control. I'm sure the minister is troubled by

:02:02.:02:05.

recent reports of like these. But equally disturbing is what goes on

:02:06.:02:14.

behind the scenes. Amnesty cites the example of a prominent Kashmiri

:02:15.:02:20.

human rights defender who was arrested repeatedly and held without

:02:21.:02:25.

process for 75 days last year. Eventually, his detention was ruled

:02:26.:02:37.

to barbitrary and his release was secured after international pressure

:02:38.:02:40.

in November. I'm pleased that the minister's in his place and I beg

:02:41.:02:44.

him to hear the international pressure does have effect. This is

:02:45.:02:54.

part of a pattern that human rights organisations have been detailing

:02:55.:03:01.

for years, plainly in amnesty's 2015 publication. Their view is the

:03:02.:03:06.

situation this report describes remains largely unchanged. Due

:03:07.:03:11.

process is still frequently denied both to those accused of militant

:03:12.:03:16.

activity or support and to those victims of state security abuses and

:03:17.:03:21.

their family and communities who never see any progress towards

:03:22.:03:27.

justice and peace. As we continue to work on these issues, we must ensure

:03:28.:03:33.

that humanitarian concerns remain at the forefront of our minds. It is

:03:34.:03:41.

clear this conflict has gone on too long and many individual stories

:03:42.:03:45.

that we have heard are nothing new. Much of the conflict goes on away

:03:46.:03:50.

from the eyes of western world. But I'm hoping that this debate will

:03:51.:03:56.

begin to change things and I hope the government will renew efforts to

:03:57.:04:00.

create opportunities for dialogue between India and Pakistan to

:04:01.:04:11.

discourage escalation and to facilitate where it can a permanent

:04:12.:04:20.

settlement that gives Kashmiris a genuine voice. To quote Nelson

:04:21.:04:25.

Mandela, it is easy to break down and destroy, the real heroes are

:04:26.:04:31.

those that make peace and build. Thank you, can I welcome this debate

:04:32.:04:36.

and I hope that on the subject of Kashmir our Government, which is now

:04:37.:04:44.

in post Brexit world an outward-looking Government, which

:04:45.:04:46.

wants to develop its foreign policy may want to use Kashmir as a good

:04:47.:04:51.

example, where it can use the new clout it has got in a way perhaps

:04:52.:04:56.

that it has failed to do I'm afraid to say in relation to Israel and

:04:57.:05:01.

Palestine, where I had assurances from the Foreign Secretary last week

:05:02.:05:10.

that the Government was involved in all fora for seeking a solution.

:05:11.:05:15.

What members when they heard the Foreign Secretary state that didn't

:05:16.:05:20.

realise, was he meant the government was not going to send any ministers

:05:21.:05:24.

to the Paris conference. I think this is going to be a subject of a

:05:25.:05:29.

future debate and it would be inappropriate to focus on in this

:05:30.:05:37.

debate. But we have heard many contributions from members with

:05:38.:05:43.

significant Kashmiri communities and have run through the history and set

:05:44.:05:48.

out some distressing the descriptions of injuries and deaths

:05:49.:05:53.

that have occurred in Kashmir and the human rights abuses they have

:05:54.:05:56.

suffered. I'm not go to repeat those. What I want to do in the few

:05:57.:06:02.

minutes available is to put some questions to the minister and hope

:06:03.:06:08.

he will be able to either off his own bat or through inspiration from

:06:09.:06:14.

people who assist him, provide answers. Firstly the first question

:06:15.:06:18.

is does the minister accept that this is an international conflict,

:06:19.:06:22.

which requires the international community to assist in its

:06:23.:06:27.

resolution and particularly the United Kingdom. Does he support the

:06:28.:06:32.

idea of an international investigation into the human rights

:06:33.:06:36.

abuses committed by the Indian army or any other alleged perpetrators.

:06:37.:06:41.

Does he accept that as long as the Indian army presence is on the scale

:06:42.:06:49.

that it is at, in terms of representation throughout towns in

:06:50.:06:52.

Kashmir that these allegations are going to resurface regularly. Does

:06:53.:06:57.

the UK Government challenge the Indian Government on the immunity

:06:58.:07:02.

that is granted to its army, does his Government challenge the use of

:07:03.:07:08.

pellets that many members have referred to in the debate? And also

:07:09.:07:12.

does the UK Government regularly raise the issue of human rights in

:07:13.:07:18.

Kashmir? My friend Lord Hussein in the House of Lords in December asked

:07:19.:07:21.

whether the Prime Minister had specifically raised the issue of

:07:22.:07:27.

human rights abuses in Kashmir in her discussions with Prime Minister

:07:28.:07:31.

Modi, but he did not receive an answer to that question. Finally in

:07:32.:07:35.

terms of questions, what exactly is the role of China? We haven't heard

:07:36.:07:40.

much about China I think raised by other members. Clearly they are one

:07:41.:07:48.

of occupying powers, albeit in the more sparsely occupied area. What is

:07:49.:07:54.

their role in this conflict? In relation to solutions, I think the

:07:55.:08:00.

member for Rochdale suggested that the member for Nottingham east had

:08:01.:08:04.

put forward a solution-focussed speech. I hope to put to the

:08:05.:08:08.

minister a possible way forward, that is first that the line of

:08:09.:08:12.

control needs to be open so that family ties can be re-established as

:08:13.:08:18.

well as cultural ties. Perhaps follow bed I the formation of a

:08:19.:08:24.

Kashmir forum to negotiate the powers that could be ceded by

:08:25.:08:38.

Pakistan and India Government and perhaps a treaty on power provision

:08:39.:08:43.

and water and for the defence needs of the countries. That might be a

:08:44.:08:48.

way forward. I hope the minister can set out what the government's

:08:49.:08:53.

approach will be. Because as other members have stated, Kashmir is

:08:54.:08:56.

another long-standing dispute in which the UK played a central role

:08:57.:09:00.

in creating the conditions which led to the conflict and must now play an

:09:01.:09:05.

equally critical role in resolving it. We hust hear from the minister

:09:06.:09:11.

in his response how he sees our role developing, what our role in the

:09:12.:09:14.

peace process will be and how peace in Kashmir will be secured.

:09:15.:09:20.

Thank you. It is a pleasure to follow the speech from the

:09:21.:09:29.

honourable member and I too want to congratulate the honourable member

:09:30.:09:32.

for Bury North for securing the debate. I am proud to have been a

:09:33.:09:37.

member of the all-party group for 12 years and to have been a secretary

:09:38.:09:42.

of the group in the past. I want to pay tribute in particular to the

:09:43.:09:47.

speech as we have heard from my honourable friends from Birmingham

:09:48.:09:50.

and Bradford who I thought spoke with particular power. When I look

:09:51.:09:55.

back at the 12 years in which I have campaigned on this issue in this

:09:56.:09:59.

House, I'm afraid it is the lack of progress I have to mark on, not the

:10:00.:10:03.

progress I think we can celebrate. Of course there has been some

:10:04.:10:06.

advances when it comes to controls at the border, the matter of trade,

:10:07.:10:14.

the issue of transport, but the truth is that today we are not a

:10:15.:10:19.

step closer to honouring the basic requirement set out in the UN

:10:20.:10:24.

mandate all those years ago. To grant the right, not the privilege,

:10:25.:10:27.

the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir. Over the last

:10:28.:10:36.

12 years, there have been calls for free movement of human rights

:10:37.:10:39.

observers and the media in the area of Kashmir and my goodness, the

:10:40.:10:44.

events of the last six months have underlined why we were so right to

:10:45.:10:50.

call for that. The abuses perpetrated, pellet guns, rape,

:10:51.:10:56.

chilli powder, they have maimed, scarred and destroyed lives. Not

:10:57.:11:01.

just this generation, but the memories of the abuse will cascade

:11:02.:11:08.

down generations to come, not making the solution or the arrival of peace

:11:09.:11:14.

any faster, it will make it tougher and slower. We have to ask ourselves

:11:15.:11:21.

why it is that we learnt so much about the abuse is not from the

:11:22.:11:24.

mainstream media but from social media. I want to pay to do to those

:11:25.:11:31.

who had the courage to post news about the atrocities so that the

:11:32.:11:35.

world and those in this House could not look away. We could see it on

:11:36.:11:40.

our phones, on our screens. The BBC has at least started to produce some

:11:41.:11:44.

coverage but it is of no comparison to the kind of coverage we used to

:11:45.:11:48.

see from South Africa when I was a teenager or Israel and Palestine

:11:49.:11:53.

week in, week out. We have to call on our media organisations to give

:11:54.:11:59.

us the benefit of transparency so that the world is forced to look at

:12:00.:12:05.

what is happening. I think the moral arguments for a solution are pretty

:12:06.:12:09.

clear and we heard them well articulated this afternoon. My

:12:10.:12:15.

honourable friend began to allude to some of the geopolitical demands for

:12:16.:12:21.

a solution too. China's new Silk Road strategy will see 4-6 trillion

:12:22.:12:26.

dollars of investment poured into the business of integrating the

:12:27.:12:32.

landmass. Yesterday we celebrated in Dagenham the arrival of the first

:12:33.:12:38.

train direct from China. This great continent is changing. Relations

:12:39.:12:42.

between China and Pakistan are changing. If we get this right,

:12:43.:12:46.

there is a tremendous economic prize ahead. The principal beneficiaries

:12:47.:12:50.

of the prize could be India and Pakistan. But not if they continued

:12:51.:12:55.

to pour money and arms and troops into the most heavily defended and

:12:56.:12:59.

dangerous border on earth. That is why both sides now surely have an

:13:00.:13:04.

interest in a solution and why we have a moral obligation in this

:13:05.:13:07.

House to help push the solution forward. I have been part of a group

:13:08.:13:14.

of people in this House, we have argued for change for 12 years. It

:13:15.:13:18.

is time to have some honesty and candour about whether that political

:13:19.:13:22.

strategy will produce any more change, any further advance in the

:13:23.:13:26.

12 years ahead. I have to say, I do not think it will. I think we now

:13:27.:13:31.

have to look in this House to other Parliaments around the world, in

:13:32.:13:36.

Europe, in the developing world, in the US, and begin to think

:13:37.:13:45.

international alliance of how can we construct an

:13:46.:13:50.

We know about the limitations of the We know about the limitations of the

:13:51.:13:53.

UN, it has not made progress in the UN, it has not made progress in the

:13:54.:13:54.

last 50, 60 years, do we believe it last 50, 60 years, do we believe it

:13:55.:13:56.

will make more progress in the years ahead? Let us take direct action

:13:57.:13:59.

now, not on our own but in alliance with others who believe in the same

:14:00.:14:02.

some basic changes that all of us some basic changes that all of us

:14:03.:14:07.

want to see, the repeal of the special forces act which is in clear

:14:08.:14:11.

breach of the UN obligation that India has signed up to, a ban on

:14:12.:14:16.

pellet guns, like many have called for this afternoon, free movement of

:14:17.:14:20.

human rights groups through Kashmir, an investigation into the 2200 mass

:14:21.:14:27.

graves that we know of and self-determination for the people of

:14:28.:14:31.

Kashmir. We have to make a choice in this House, about whether we stand

:14:32.:14:36.

on the sidelines of this debate as impotent bystanders or whether we

:14:37.:14:40.

are going to be protagonists for change, just as we were in the case

:14:41.:14:44.

of South Africa, just as we were in the case of Burma. One of my

:14:45.:14:50.

constituents put it to me like this. The people of Jammu and Kashmir seek

:14:51.:14:53.

a peaceful resolution, they want their country to be a bridge of

:14:54.:14:57.

peace and not a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. We

:14:58.:15:00.

should support this motion and support that basic instinct. Thank

:15:01.:15:07.

you. It is a real privilege to follow that incredibly articulate

:15:08.:15:13.

speech from my honourable friend. I think this has been a really

:15:14.:15:17.

excellent debate this afternoon, can I pay tribute to all the

:15:18.:15:22.

contributions? Particularly my colleagues from neighbouring

:15:23.:15:24.

constituencies, we will have significant Kashmiri communities in

:15:25.:15:30.

our constituencies and we share those communities and I thank them

:15:31.:15:33.

for their contributions today as well. I want to congratulate the

:15:34.:15:38.

honourable member for Bury North on securing this debate but also for

:15:39.:15:42.

the broader contribution of the Kashmir all-party Parliamentary

:15:43.:15:44.

group which has sought to keep Kashmir on the political agenda in

:15:45.:15:49.

the UK. Often with varying degrees of success. That is despite its best

:15:50.:15:53.

efforts. In preparation for this debate today, I watched the

:15:54.:15:57.

recording of the last debate on Kashmir which was secured by the

:15:58.:16:02.

then Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East, David ward, in 2014.

:16:03.:16:07.

That was also a backbench business debate and it is testament to the

:16:08.:16:11.

committee that they are able to find time to debate the issues that are

:16:12.:16:15.

so often overlooked in the day-to-day business of this House. I

:16:16.:16:17.

want to thank them again for allowing time for this debate. Many

:16:18.:16:23.

of my constituents in Halifax are of Kashmiri heritage and Halifax will

:16:24.:16:28.

always keep a close eye on what is happening in that part of the world.

:16:29.:16:32.

Before Christmas I met with a number of local residents at the mosque in

:16:33.:16:36.

my constituency for a constructive discussion about the deterioration

:16:37.:16:40.

in the situation in Kashmir and also to consider what practical steps we

:16:41.:16:43.

honourable member has just made this honourable member has just made this

:16:44.:16:48.

point but I raised one of the challenges for me having access to

:16:49.:16:51.

the latest information directly from the region. We know this is both a

:16:52.:16:56.

consequence of the restrictions in place on the ground and I also

:16:57.:17:00.

worried that because it is a conflict that has gone unresolved

:17:01.:17:04.

for so long, it is overshadowed and overlooked and unreported by the

:17:05.:17:07.

mainstream media and that is a challenge for all of us to try to

:17:08.:17:10.

get it back on the media platforms. Given the Foreign Office in a

:17:11.:17:13.

written response to my honourable friend said we currently have

:17:14.:17:18.

limited access to the Kashmir valley and this makes it challenging to

:17:19.:17:21.

obtain accurate information on the situation. You will appreciate that.

:17:22.:17:29.

The families in Halifax and other communities in the UK, the problem

:17:30.:17:33.

for them is not that they cannot access information, as information

:17:34.:17:36.

comes directly from their and friends still in Kashmir, their

:17:37.:17:41.

challenge is the sense of helplessness on hearing just how

:17:42.:17:45.

desperate the situation has become, feeling unable to protect loved ones

:17:46.:17:49.

and unable to bring about the civil protection and stability we need to

:17:50.:17:53.

keep people safe and to work towards our long-term sustainable solution

:17:54.:17:56.

to the conflict. We discussed a number of things at that meeting in

:17:57.:18:00.

Halifax and one of the things we discussed was the role constituents

:18:01.:18:04.

might be able to play in securing a debate in the future. Whilst we are

:18:05.:18:09.

all frustrated with how long this has gone unresolved, it is just the

:18:10.:18:12.

little bit of progress we are able to have this debate in the main

:18:13.:18:17.

Chamber today. In the debate in 2014, in the opening speech, it was

:18:18.:18:27.

outlined the conflict is long-standing and complex will stop

:18:28.:18:29.

one of the longest-running territorial disputes in the world

:18:30.:18:33.

between two nuclear powers. It is astonishing to think the world does

:18:34.:18:36.

not pay more attention to this issue. We have failed to make

:18:37.:18:40.

progress as the debate in 2014 and we know that the situation has

:18:41.:18:45.

deteriorated. As the motion outlines, we have grown increasingly

:18:46.:18:48.

alarmed at the recent escalation in violence on the Indian side on the

:18:49.:18:52.

line of control and depressingly it has gone backwards, I would say. I

:18:53.:18:57.

could spend a long time going through the incident room and

:18:58.:19:00.

timeline as to how we have got to where we are today but a number of

:19:01.:19:04.

members have done that -- through the incidents. I am fairly confident

:19:05.:19:11.

the Minister will tell us it is the UK's long-standing position it is

:19:12.:19:15.

for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation

:19:16.:19:18.

taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people and it is not

:19:19.:19:22.

for the UK to prescribe a solution or act as a media, which I have

:19:23.:19:27.

heard one of occasions in responses to both written and oral questions.

:19:28.:19:32.

-- act as a mediator. I appreciate the complexity and I do not believe

:19:33.:19:37.

anyone is asking the Government to prescribe this illusion. Must I

:19:38.:19:43.

believe that -- what I believe in self-determination for Kashmir, that

:19:44.:19:50.

is the only way to bring about a long-term solution. We do have a

:19:51.:19:55.

responsibility to seek to put a stop to the human rights abuses and that

:19:56.:19:59.

is the work I am asking the Government to undertake today. When

:20:00.:20:02.

tensions dramatically escalated last summer, we saw a sharp rise in the

:20:03.:20:08.

use of pellet firing shotguns by the Indian forces to control crowds. I

:20:09.:20:11.

will not go through the arguments for that particular horror in the

:20:12.:20:16.

damaged the pellet guns have done as honourable members have already done

:20:17.:20:22.

it so articulately. I would like to refer to a report produced by

:20:23.:20:26.

Doctors Without Borders, MSF, published back in 2008. The research

:20:27.:20:32.

was undertaken a number of years ago but it is the most comprehensive

:20:33.:20:35.

attempt I can find of mapping the health requirements of Kashmiri

:20:36.:20:39.

people living in close proximity to the line of control in terms of

:20:40.:20:44.

physical and mental well-being. I found it a harrowing read and given

:20:45.:20:48.

that the situation has only deteriorated since 2008, I thought

:20:49.:20:51.

it was worth sharing some of the findings. The research conducted

:20:52.:20:57.

involved household surveys in person in two districts in the Indian

:20:58.:21:01.

controlled region of Kashmir. 510 interviews were completed and of

:21:02.:21:06.

those staggering 86% reported frequent confrontations with

:21:07.:21:10.

violence including exposure to crossfire. 67% said they had

:21:11.:21:15.

witnessed torture with 34% saying they had self experience of forced

:21:16.:21:20.

labour. The report found violence affects nearly everybody living in

:21:21.:21:24.

Kashmir. 40% said they had witnessed somebody being killed with

:21:25.:21:28.

horrifying 13% saying they had witnessed rape. Inevitably, MSF

:21:29.:21:34.

concluded that not only were the requirements of the region high in

:21:35.:21:39.

terms of physical injuries but the prevalence of insecurity and

:21:40.:21:43.

violence inevitably had substantial implications for mental health. A

:21:44.:21:46.

third of those interviewed had contemplated suicide. A third of the

:21:47.:21:52.

Beeb are interviewed as part of the study. Over a third had symptoms of

:21:53.:21:58.

psychological distress. Amongst women, it was higher. The prospects

:21:59.:22:03.

of any economic generation are hopeless in no circumstances in the

:22:04.:22:07.

face of such conflict. 53% of those interviewed in the study had no

:22:08.:22:18.

schooling and 24% had high or total dependence on charities. The

:22:19.:22:24.

sustainable development goal high on the world's agenda, can I ask the

:22:25.:22:28.

Minister to work with his colleagues to explore all of the ways we can

:22:29.:22:35.

improve the situation? We cannot make progress for education, health,

:22:36.:22:39.

to alleviate poverty or support economic recovery unless the

:22:40.:22:44.

violence stops. Pakistan and India are world players and have

:22:45.:22:47.

obligations under the sustainable development goals. How can we ensure

:22:48.:22:51.

Kashmir does not get left behind? As one of the current chairs for fair

:22:52.:22:55.

trade, one of the things we discussed about meeting in Halifax

:22:56.:22:59.

is the role fair trade might be able to play in terms of the direct link

:23:00.:23:06.

my local town can have in supporting little independent businesses in

:23:07.:23:08.

Kashmir that might support economic recovery. I can see it -- I can see

:23:09.:23:18.

I am being encouraged to wind-up. It is always a pleasure to speak on any

:23:19.:23:24.

issue in relation to human rights. Can I congratulate the honourable

:23:25.:23:26.

gentleman for setting the scene so very well? Some of the most

:23:27.:23:32.

incredible speeches made on the half of all of the right honourable

:23:33.:23:34.

members here on an issue that clearly fires of them in relation to

:23:35.:23:40.

what they want to speak about and I will add my contribution, if I can.

:23:41.:23:44.

It is well known in the House but I am a passionate speaker about human

:23:45.:23:54.

rights. Human rights in India provide fundamental rights which

:23:55.:23:56.

should include freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Very clearly

:23:57.:24:02.

on many occasions they fall short. Despite every individual having this

:24:03.:24:05.

right in India, Kashmir often experiences violence with the Indian

:24:06.:24:10.

Army and various separatist militant groups have been accused and held

:24:11.:24:17.

accountable for severe human rights abuses against civilians. They have

:24:18.:24:20.

not been held accountable enough in relation to some of the things they

:24:21.:24:24.

have carried out and that worries us considerably. I believe we have a

:24:25.:24:30.

role to play in this and we should use any diplomatic influence we have

:24:31.:24:33.

to bring about change and ask for change and that is part of the role

:24:34.:24:38.

we have in this place. Human rights are often defined as principles that

:24:39.:24:42.

any human is entitled to, individuals targeted with

:24:43.:24:53.

violence... As, the targets are early charged and that has to be

:24:54.:24:57.

addressed as well. That's the Minister can give us an idea of how

:24:58.:25:00.

that can be addressed. How can we make those carrying out the attacks

:25:01.:25:02.

accountable? It shows the government have little

:25:03.:25:10.

interest in speaking out on atrocities. They have a Nelson's eye

:25:11.:25:18.

and don't see what is happening. Certain minorities are often exposed

:25:19.:25:27.

to d to human rights issues and groups such as Christians are often

:25:28.:25:33.

targeted. In India Christian minorities assert that the

:25:34.:25:36.

authorities don't do enough to stop the violence against them, which is

:25:37.:25:43.

often perpetrated by Hindu nationals. They harass Christians to

:25:44.:25:51.

stop conversions which they see as a threat to the Hindu faith and those

:25:52.:25:56.

things have concerned me. I have spoken about that before I and I do

:25:57.:26:01.

likewise today. The human rights policy does state the freedom of

:26:02.:26:06.

religion and asked Christians if they feel free to share their faith.

:26:07.:26:10.

They don't and we have to make that clear. When asked that question they

:26:11.:26:15.

feel threatened and fearle and they need help. In 2016 the BBC reported

:26:16.:26:24.

violent actions against civilians. That included the arson of churches,

:26:25.:26:37.

forced re-conversions and the rape of Nunns and Christian young girls.

:26:38.:26:46.

Others have referred to the attacks on women and girls. As well as

:26:47.:26:51.

murder, murder takes place against Christian priests and other key

:26:52.:26:57.

figures. I believe we cannot sit by and watch and not at least attempt

:26:58.:27:01.

within this House and the democratic process and within our areas of

:27:02.:27:05.

influence to see that murders carried out with no redress, there

:27:06.:27:10.

must be an and there has to be investigations, accountability for

:27:11.:27:15.

the atrocities to the murders to the genocidal Compiegne against --

:27:16.:27:18.

campaign against Christians in Kashmir. In 2008 the anti-Christian

:27:19.:27:26.

riots killed at least 50 Christian people. And some 730 houses and 95

:27:27.:27:32.

Christian churches. These are not just stats. These are the facts of

:27:33.:27:37.

life for many people and what they have been subjected to. Stones have

:27:38.:27:41.

been thrown but people's window and nothing was done. The police turned

:27:42.:27:45.

a blind eye as if they didn't see it. Violent attacks to minority

:27:46.:27:53.

groups have been an ongoing issue. We must play in a part in this, and

:27:54.:28:00.

it is often said but it does make it less an important one, evil triumphs

:28:01.:28:10.

with good people do nothing and we must do something. We can influence

:28:11.:28:17.

that through our common wealth ties and we must speak up for those who

:28:18.:28:23.

can't speak for themselves and we must be a voice for those who look

:28:24.:28:29.

to us to speak on their behalf and these innocent people have faced

:28:30.:28:37.

murder and forced d disappearance. India and Pakistan have called

:28:38.:28:44.

curfews to refrain from violence and without any success. Senior figures

:28:45.:28:52.

are encountered an escalation of tension and that is a fear we have

:28:53.:28:56.

that things could get worse. The steps that have been taken are not

:28:57.:28:59.

enough and I believe we must do more. We must I believe speak for

:29:00.:29:07.

all those whose cries ring today in our ears and we are bound to respond

:29:08.:29:14.

in this democratic process, in the greatest seat of democracy, we have

:29:15.:29:17.

the greatest opportunity to speak for those people and let's make the

:29:18.:29:22.

voice clear as it has been from all parties, we look to our minister

:29:23.:29:26.

today for him to respond and to outline action that will bring about

:29:27.:29:30.

change and change now and we can change and we have to change the

:29:31.:29:33.

policies that are taking place in Kashmir. Those people need us to

:29:34.:29:38.

speak for them and we are duty bound I believe to answer. Thank you.

:29:39.:29:45.

Thank you. Can I congratulate the member for Bury North for securing

:29:46.:29:49.

this important debate and we have heard some magnificent

:29:50.:29:53.

contributions. Some from those of us who have roots in the area and from

:29:54.:29:58.

a personal view and others who are speaking strongly and with

:29:59.:30:02.

determination and passion on behalf of our constituents. I hope that the

:30:03.:30:06.

feeling in the chamber is instructive to the minister in terms

:30:07.:30:11.

of direction that the members of the chamber would like the Foreign

:30:12.:30:16.

Office to take in terms of future relations with India and Pakistan.

:30:17.:30:20.

The SNP support this motion, which calls on the Government to encourage

:30:21.:30:26.

Pakistan and India to commerce peace negotiations to establish a

:30:27.:30:30.

long-term solution to Kashmir. It is vital that we use the influence we

:30:31.:30:37.

have as friends of both nations to encourage people in authorities to

:30:38.:30:40.

work together to calm tensions and reduce violence. In particular, the

:30:41.:30:46.

Indian authorities the should be encouraged to engage in genuine and

:30:47.:30:53.

constructive dialogue with moderate factions in Indian-administered

:30:54.:30:59.

Kashmir and help such groups over armed militants. We support the

:31:00.:31:04.

right of people to secure their own future and call on all parties to

:31:05.:31:11.

recognise that right that exists and we urge the UK Government and

:31:12.:31:17.

international community to support the UN Secretary General in his

:31:18.:31:23.

efforts at mediation and serving as an honest broker between inds and

:31:24.:31:27.

Pakistan. We understand this is a difficult and long-lasting issue and

:31:28.:31:34.

Kashmir has been a disputed territory since 1947. In the last

:31:35.:31:40.

year we have seen a significant and regrettable escalation in violence.

:31:41.:31:46.

There was considerable unrest in Kashmir throughout 2016,

:31:47.:31:58.

particularly in Indian administered area when a militant was killed. In

:31:59.:32:03.

the violence over a hundred people were killed and 11,000 injured. A

:32:04.:32:11.

great many sustaining serious eye injuries when fired upon by the

:32:12.:32:16.

police with pellet guns. Human rights Watch have called for Indian

:32:17.:32:20.

authorities to launch an impartial investigation into the use of lethal

:32:21.:32:27.

force and pellet guns and on the 6th December physicians issues a report

:32:28.:32:31.

accusing Indian police and paramilitary forces of using

:32:32.:32:37.

excessive force against protesters and block medical care. The member

:32:38.:32:42.

for Bradford made an excellent point about human rights. Wherever human

:32:43.:32:47.

rights abuse occurs, we must call it out. But it must feel to many that

:32:48.:32:55.

we prioritise the human rights of others. This must not and will not

:32:56.:33:00.

continue. We urge the Indian forces to exert greater caution and

:33:01.:33:05.

restraint in their methods of crowd control, including by discontinuing

:33:06.:33:10.

the practice of firing pellet dpuns. The authorities must allow full and

:33:11.:33:15.

unrestricted access to people so medical care can be administered and

:33:16.:33:22.

above all facilitate treatment by specialised eye doctors to the many

:33:23.:33:26.

people injured by these guns. At the same time, we urge organisers of

:33:27.:33:34.

protest to deter supports from engaging in violence. Although the

:33:35.:33:44.

violence has reduced, local leaders have promised that there is more to

:33:45.:33:49.

come. Of concern are the continuing clashes between Indian and Pakistani

:33:50.:33:53.

forces that have been ongoing for some time and there have been

:33:54.:34:00.

exchanges of fire along the line of control, including the Indian

:34:01.:34:04.

artillery shelling that reportedly hit a school bus, killing the driver

:34:05.:34:12.

and wounding several children and in January, India security forces

:34:13.:34:14.

killed three militants in an operation described as a continued

:34:15.:34:21.

act of state terrorism. This escalation in military action is of

:34:22.:34:25.

great concern and it would be wise for both governments, both

:34:26.:34:29.

governments to reflect on the actions and tone down the

:34:30.:34:35.

increasingly violent rhetoric. There have been increasing suggestions

:34:36.:34:37.

that the Indian Government is considering using water as a means

:34:38.:34:43.

of applying pressure on Pakistan. Tension should not affect other

:34:44.:34:50.

aspects of the relationship. Pakistan depends on the six rivers

:34:51.:34:55.

of the area, which flow through India before reaching Pakistan. The

:34:56.:35:03.

rivers provide water and livelihoods to three quarters of Pakistan's

:35:04.:35:10.

population. More than 95% of the irrigated land is in the area and

:35:11.:35:16.

farming amounts to a quarter of Pakistan's GDP. In 1960 the

:35:17.:35:21.

countries signed a treaty to guarantee Pakistan's access to water

:35:22.:35:26.

and provided for inspections and arbitration processes. The treaty is

:35:27.:35:33.

regarded as the most successful example of an international

:35:34.:35:36.

agreement on water and has survived three wars. However, India's

:35:37.:35:44.

threatening to revise the treaty or moderate the access to water. This

:35:45.:35:51.

is a deeply regrettable affect which could have dangerous implications

:35:52.:35:55.

for the region. The India Prime Minister held a review of the treaty

:35:56.:36:00.

in September, outlining provisions which India could use to apply

:36:01.:36:06.

pressure on Pakistan and stated, blood and water cannot flow

:36:07.:36:14.

simultaneously. So the foreign policy advisor responded, stating

:36:15.:36:17.

that the revocation of the treaty would be considered an act of war.

:36:18.:36:24.

On 12th December the world bank halted two arbitration processes,

:36:25.:36:27.

citing concerns that current tension could endanger the treaty. We urge

:36:28.:36:32.

all parties to uphold the water treaty in letter and in spirit. And

:36:33.:36:40.

not to use vital access to water as a means of diplomatic leverage. That

:36:41.:36:43.

is just full wrong. Within the scope of the treaty, any changes should be

:36:44.:36:48.

agreed through the proper channels and only after very careful

:36:49.:36:52.

consideration of the humanitarian and economic consequences to the

:36:53.:36:57.

people in the area. We encourage the UK Government and the international

:36:58.:37:02.

community to provide all necessary support to the world bank in

:37:03.:37:09.

itarbitration of treaty and encourage the countries to continue

:37:10.:37:13.

to implement the treaty provisions, regardless of the tensions caused by

:37:14.:37:19.

other developments. In conclusion, the SNP supports the motion and the

:37:20.:37:25.

hugely constructive debate. The Government must continue to

:37:26.:37:32.

encourage Pakistan and India to start peace negotiations, the

:37:33.:37:35.

Kashmiry people should be able to determine their own future in

:37:36.:37:39.

accordance with the provisions of the UN solution. It is in even's

:37:40.:37:45.

interest that long-term solution can be found on the future governance of

:37:46.:37:52.

the beautiful place that is Kashmir. Thank you. I would like to start by

:37:53.:37:58.

thanking the member for Bury North for securing this important debate.

:37:59.:38:03.

And to the backbench business committee for granting it. The

:38:04.:38:08.

member for Bury North spoke on behalf of his constituents of

:38:09.:38:12.

Pakistani and Kashmiri origin. I would like to thank all members from

:38:13.:38:17.

across the House for contributing to an excellent debate which has

:38:18.:38:21.

highlighted many serious matters of human rights abuses, the

:38:22.:38:26.

intensification of violence, while advocating the need for conflict

:38:27.:38:30.

resolution instead of mill Friday escalation and the ability --

:38:31.:38:37.

instead of military escalation. And we have heard some powerful speeches

:38:38.:38:43.

on human rights abuses and civil liberties. Notably from the members

:38:44.:38:52.

for Birmingham, Harrow east and Sheffield and West Ham, and Halifax

:38:53.:38:58.

and Strang fords. And the member for Wealden called, questioned the

:38:59.:39:02.

political will of UN for a peaceful resolution. The right to

:39:03.:39:05.

self-determine nation was mentioned by among others the members for

:39:06.:39:12.

Bradford east and calls for the Government to work to settle the

:39:13.:39:17.

situation were made by the members for Bradford West, Nottingham east,

:39:18.:39:20.

Rochdale and Batley and Spen. Our historic responsibility to

:39:21.:39:31.

Kashmir was highlighted by the honourable members for Wycombe and

:39:32.:39:35.

Sheffield Central. The role of China which has not been referred to a

:39:36.:39:39.

great deal in this debate was highlighted at its chilly by the

:39:40.:39:44.

honourable members for Carshalton and four Chilcot highlighted

:39:45.:39:53.

particularly. The Kashmiri people have seen conflict perpetually on

:39:54.:39:58.

the rise over the last year. It is the worst spate of violence in the

:39:59.:40:03.

region since 2010 one 110 people lost their lives. And inside and

:40:04.:40:09.

outside of this house, I and alongside many others, have already

:40:10.:40:14.

called for a ban on pellet guns alongside tear gas and live

:40:15.:40:17.

ammunition in civilian areas. Could the Minister update us on the

:40:18.:40:23.

current situation in the Jammu region, in particular that of the

:40:24.:40:26.

police and the Muslim community? 400 people have been detained while

:40:27.:40:31.

Indian security forces under the regressive public safety act which

:40:32.:40:41.

allows preventative detention and violates international jury process

:40:42.:40:44.

standards in Kashmir. Human rights watch and in Amnesty International

:40:45.:40:51.

have called it a lawless law and they have called for the Indian

:40:52.:40:56.

authorities to end the use of the public safety act. People should be

:40:57.:41:00.

properly charged and given further aisles. Does the Minister agree with

:41:01.:41:07.

the NGOs' assessment of the public safety act? The region have seen the

:41:08.:41:11.

introduction and implementation of numerous curfews over this

:41:12.:41:15.

disruptive period, the longest of which lasted 53 days. Mobile phone

:41:16.:41:22.

services have been down and media blackouts have been imposed leading

:41:23.:41:26.

to numerous protests, including a series of general strikes, the

:41:27.:41:30.

closure of schools and universities, and regular public rallies against

:41:31.:41:34.

Indian rule. This of course is not a one-sided affair. We would also

:41:35.:41:38.

encourage Prime Minister Sharif and his government to condemn and begin

:41:39.:41:43.

immediately to take action against abusive militant groups operating in

:41:44.:41:48.

Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India. This would be an important

:41:49.:41:52.

move to help extinguish the conflict in the region. With the UK

:41:53.:41:56.

Government also take a look at its future military aid and sales,

:41:57.:42:01.

programmes of military cooperation with Pakistan, on the condition that

:42:02.:42:06.

it begins to take significant steps to address attacks by militant

:42:07.:42:10.

groups in the region? Another matter of concern is the nuclear weapons

:42:11.:42:16.

arms race going on between the two countries which has escalated in the

:42:17.:42:21.

past 12 months. This is also intertwined with the relationship

:42:22.:42:28.

either side with China or the new United States administration. Could

:42:29.:42:31.

the Government update the House if it has raised any issue with by the

:42:32.:42:36.

government on the nuclear arsenal investment in testing? The unrest

:42:37.:42:43.

has led to the tragic loss of over 80 lives in violent clashes since

:42:44.:42:47.

the beginning of July, including the life of a police officer and 19

:42:48.:42:52.

soldiers killed in a militant attack on a security base. Sadly, the

:42:53.:42:57.

violence continues to this day with approximately 4000 people wounded in

:42:58.:43:02.

this seven-month period. The line of control is at the heart of the

:43:03.:43:06.

divisional tension, with both countries cranking up the levels of

:43:07.:43:10.

rhetoric and military action on the border. I would like to ask the

:43:11.:43:15.

Government what specifically it is doing to counter this ongoing

:43:16.:43:18.

retaliation, given the history of the line of control. Even as

:43:19.:43:23.

recently as 2015, it has seen disastrous costs were Indian and

:43:24.:43:29.

Pakistani border guards traded gunfire leaving nine civilians dead

:43:30.:43:34.

and another 62 injured. As a symbolic destination for her fast

:43:35.:43:40.

first trip abroad as Prime Minister, we welcomed the visit to India,

:43:41.:43:46.

given our country's historic ties. But I would like to ask the

:43:47.:43:51.

honourable members today, what honourable members today, what

:43:52.:43:51.

discussions has she had with Prime discussions has she had with Prime

:43:52.:43:57.

Minister Modi? The visit was at the height of the current troubles.

:43:58.:44:01.

Could the Minister tell us what progress has come through such

:44:02.:44:05.

diplomatic talks? I think the Minister would find support for such

:44:06.:44:08.

a question among his own backbenchers, particularly notably

:44:09.:44:15.

the honourable member. Could he inform us whether the Foreign

:44:16.:44:18.

Secretary ever discussed the letter sent to him just prior to the Prime

:44:19.:44:22.

Minister's visit by my right honourable friend the Shadow Foreign

:44:23.:44:27.

Secretary, raising the issues of human rights and civil liberties in

:44:28.:44:32.

Kashmir? On the issue of Kashmir, it should be stated for the record that

:44:33.:44:37.

Labour party policy on this matter has not changed, it is the same as

:44:38.:44:41.

it was in government. We must allow all parties who are directly

:44:42.:44:46.

involved to determine the future through peaceful dialogue and

:44:47.:44:51.

cooperation. We also acknowledge the importance of the work of

:44:52.:44:55.

international organisations, particularly the UN, and their

:44:56.:44:58.

efforts to negotiate with all parties and member states involved

:44:59.:45:02.

to bring India and Pakistan to the negotiating table. We continue to in

:45:03.:45:06.

courage both India and Pakistan to seek a lasting resolution in

:45:07.:45:14.

accordance with the provision of the UN Security Council resolutions

:45:15.:45:16.

which take into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. We believe

:45:17.:45:22.

their wishes are a fundamental aspect of the success of the process

:45:23.:45:26.

and to obtaining peace in the region. While in government, Labour,

:45:27.:45:32.

through the conflict prevention programme, funded a number of

:45:33.:45:35.

projects designed to support efforts to facilitate dialogue which

:45:36.:45:40.

addressed the causes and impact of conflict and propose to create

:45:41.:45:44.

improvements in the quality of life experienced by Kashmiris. In 2010,

:45:45.:45:50.

the first opinion poll to be conducted on both sides of the line

:45:51.:45:54.

of control since the UN brokered ceasefire in 1949 was taken. It was

:45:55.:46:01.

found that despite the complexity of the political situation, there are

:46:02.:46:06.

other clear concerns for the Kashmiri people, namely, 81% say

:46:07.:46:11.

unemployment is the most significant problem facing Kashmiris. Love and

:46:12.:46:17.

corruption, poor economic element and human rights abuses all polled

:46:18.:46:22.

highly on a list of concerns that require government corruption.

:46:23.:46:28.

Kashmiri citizens wish for an end to the indecision, the dispute, the

:46:29.:46:35.

division, so that they can have access to economic prosperity, good

:46:36.:46:41.

education and vital health care. These should be the main points of

:46:42.:46:44.

consideration of the dialogue and action is going forward in 2017. The

:46:45.:46:51.

need for a rapid response to the situation in Kashmir is now upon us.

:46:52.:46:57.

I hope that the whole house and the Minister will agree with me that we

:46:58.:47:01.

must ensure that the UN are involved at every stage of the process. The

:47:02.:47:06.

new UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutierrez, on his first day in

:47:07.:47:10.

office alleged to make 2017 the year of peace. I hope these words can

:47:11.:47:16.

lead to a rapprochement and then reach a long-term resolution between

:47:17.:47:21.

the two countries step-by-step. The first step forward must be accepting

:47:22.:47:25.

the role of humanitarian law and that the starting point for

:47:26.:47:29.

negotiations between the bordering nations must be to uphold the UN

:47:30.:47:37.

universal declaration of human rights, ensuring equal and in a

:47:38.:47:43.

viewable rights took all Kashmiri people -- equal and inalienable

:47:44.:47:53.

rights. We have had a long debate, a very detailed discussion and some

:47:54.:47:55.

extremely powerful speeches from both sides and I'm very grateful to

:47:56.:48:01.

all members who have contributed today. I also congratulate my

:48:02.:48:06.

honourable friend, the member for Bury North, for securing this debate

:48:07.:48:08.

and I would like to thank the members of the Kashmir all-party

:48:09.:48:13.

Parliamentary group for their commitment to the issue and for

:48:14.:48:15.

welcoming me to their meeting in December. As the member for Bury

:48:16.:48:23.

North stated in his speech, this is a region with a long and complex

:48:24.:48:29.

history. Of course, the situation in Kashmir continues to attract

:48:30.:48:32.

significant public attention and Parliamentary interest in the UK, as

:48:33.:48:36.

we have seen in this debate. Not least because of the thousands of

:48:37.:48:40.

British nationals with connections to Kashmir. It has been estimated

:48:41.:48:44.

that two thirds of British Pakistanis hail from Pakistan

:48:45.:48:49.

administered Kashmir. Before I respond to the very many points

:48:50.:48:55.

raised by members, I would like to set out briefly the Government's

:48:56.:48:59.

position on Kashmir and on India - Pakistan relations. A number of

:49:00.:49:06.

members set out what they believe to be the Government's position and I

:49:07.:49:09.

can confirm that it is indeed consistent, it has been the

:49:10.:49:14.

long-standing position of successive governments of all hues and the

:49:15.:49:21.

honourable lady has also stated that the opposition's position on this

:49:22.:49:27.

issue has not changed. India and Pakistan are both long-standing and

:49:28.:49:31.

important friends of the UK. We have significant links to both countries

:49:32.:49:35.

through Indian and Pakistani desperate communities. I have many

:49:36.:49:38.

in my own constituency who live in the UK. -- diaspora communities. We

:49:39.:49:46.

have strong bilateral links which we hope to make stronger. The

:49:47.:49:49.

long-standing position of the UK is that it can either prescribe a

:49:50.:49:52.

solution to the situation in Kashmir nor act as a mediator will stop it

:49:53.:49:58.

is for the governments of India and Pakistan to find a lasting

:49:59.:50:01.

resolution, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people -- act

:50:02.:50:07.

as a mediator. We encourage both sides to maintain a positive

:50:08.:50:09.

dialogue in the discussions we have with both India and Pakistan but the

:50:10.:50:13.

pace and scope of this is for them to determine. Let me take the issues

:50:14.:50:21.

as they have come up in this debate. Firstly, the discussion on the

:50:22.:50:27.

violence across the line of control. I agree, in order to maintain

:50:28.:50:31.

regional stability and prosperity, a strong relationship between India

:50:32.:50:34.

and Pakistan is absolutely crucial and I am pleased that the escalation

:50:35.:50:39.

of incidents along the line of control have shown some signs of

:50:40.:50:43.

decreasing in the run-up to Christmas, but I know there have

:50:44.:50:46.

been recent reports of renewed activity this year. A number of

:50:47.:50:51.

members talked about the issue of combating terrorism. Following the

:50:52.:50:57.

attack on the Indian military base last September, the Foreign

:50:58.:51:02.

Secretary Mariah -- my right honourable friend, condemned all

:51:03.:51:06.

forms of terrorism in the region, stating UK stands shoulder to

:51:07.:51:11.

shoulder with India in the fight against terrorism and in bringing

:51:12.:51:15.

the perpetrators to justice. He reiterated that message during a

:51:16.:51:17.

visit to Pakistan shortly before Christmas. Following her visit to

:51:18.:51:24.

India last November, the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi

:51:25.:51:27.

released a joint statement in which they reiterated their strong

:51:28.:51:31.

commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

:51:32.:51:36.

They also stressed there can be no justification for acts of terror on

:51:37.:51:41.

any grounds. The UK and Pakistan are of course also committed to working

:51:42.:51:45.

together to combat the terrorist threat and extremism that sustains

:51:46.:51:49.

it in line with human rights. The UK readily highlights to Pakistan at

:51:50.:51:53.

the highest level the importance of taking effective action against all

:51:54.:51:57.

terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, as Pakistan has committed

:51:58.:52:00.

to do. The UK will continue to encourage both India and Pakistan to

:52:01.:52:06.

ensure channels of dialogue remain open as a means of resolving

:52:07.:52:13.

differences. There was a discussion on the use of pellet guns. Very many

:52:14.:52:18.

members raised that issue. Let me just address that straightaway. I

:52:19.:52:24.

have said on a number of occasions in this House that I am very

:52:25.:52:29.

concerned by the violence in Indian administered Kashmir and I extend my

:52:30.:52:31.

condolences to the victims of violence and their families. I have

:52:32.:52:35.

also is discussed with representatives from the Indian

:52:36.:52:39.

government the use of pellet guns and alternative methods of crowd

:52:40.:52:43.

control. The use of pellet guns has come under review by the government

:52:44.:52:46.

of India and the results of the review have not yet been shared

:52:47.:52:49.

publicly. I understand that alternative methods are now being

:52:50.:52:54.

used. I believe that since last September, pellet guns were replaced

:52:55.:52:58.

with chilli powder shells as a preferred non-lethal crowd control

:52:59.:53:02.

device. From media reporting, it appears the number of fraternities

:53:03.:53:06.

and injuries have seen a decline since then. I am sure the whole

:53:07.:53:09.

House would welcome this and we will continue to monitor the situation --

:53:10.:53:17.

the number of fatalities and injuries. The Public safety act was

:53:18.:53:25.

raised by a number of members and we are aware of the concerns regarding

:53:26.:53:30.

allegations of immunity from prosecution by Indian Armed Forces

:53:31.:53:34.

personnel in Indian administered Kashmir under the Public safety act.

:53:35.:53:41.

The Indian public has put in place then this is -- the Indian public

:53:42.:53:47.

has put in place a mechanism by which this can be investigated.

:53:48.:53:50.

Domestic laws must be in line with international standards. Any

:53:51.:53:56.

allegations of human rights abuse must be investigated thoroughly,

:53:57.:54:00.

promptly and transparently. I also understand that on the 11th of

:54:01.:54:04.

January of this year, the chief minister told the state assembly

:54:05.:54:09.

that the Indian government has ordered the establishment of special

:54:10.:54:12.

investigating teams into the deaths of civilians and also looking at the

:54:13.:54:17.

involvement of police personnel during the unrest of the past.

:54:18.:54:23.

There was a discussion around confidence-building measures. Would

:54:24.:54:30.

he allow me. Of course. On the the face of it is encouraging that the

:54:31.:54:34.

investigations have been launched, will the Government take steps to

:54:35.:54:40.

make sure there is confidence that the investigations can be relied on

:54:41.:54:44.

to determine what is true? Of course, I thank my honourable friend

:54:45.:54:47.

for that intervention. Of course we continue to monitor the whole

:54:48.:54:51.

situation in the region and let me come on to talking about the UN and

:54:52.:54:56.

other such mat Feres he will allow me. -- and other such matters if he

:54:57.:55:04.

will allow me. And the UK supports a number of existing initiatives to

:55:05.:55:08.

encourage open dialogue between Pakistan and India on the basis they

:55:09.:55:13.

can share their views in confidence and we hope those opportunities will

:55:14.:55:21.

continue. Now, we come to the discussion and the issue around the

:55:22.:55:26.

motion itself. And my my honourable friend has put forward and he calls

:55:27.:55:30.

for the British Government to raise the situation in Kashmir at the UN.

:55:31.:55:35.

As I have said set out the British Government believes it is for India

:55:36.:55:39.

and Pakistan to find a lasting solution to Kashmir, taking into

:55:40.:55:43.

account the wishes of the Kashmiri people and we stand ready to support

:55:44.:55:47.

both countries in this goal. But it is not for the UK to proscribe a

:55:48.:55:52.

solution. I would just say that in if debate that took place in

:55:53.:55:59.

Westminster Hall in 2014, the member for Bury North made a very powerful

:56:00.:56:06.

speech and in that he himself said, the governance of India and Pakistan

:56:07.:56:13.

are the principal parties who can bring about a resolution. I think

:56:14.:56:17.

that is the case. May I talk about the UN and the high commissioner for

:56:18.:56:22.

human rights, that was raised by members. Of course, as permanent

:56:23.:56:33.

five member of the UN any member of the UN human rights consill, I am

:56:34.:56:42.

ware aware the commissioner has asked for access to Kashmir and we

:56:43.:56:50.

urge all states to visit. It is right the UN high commissioner has

:56:51.:56:55.

extended that invitation, but Pakistan has sent a letter staying

:56:56.:56:59.

that they would accept if India would accept and India has not got

:57:00.:57:04.

back. What will he do to encourage India to allow them to accept that

:57:05.:57:10.

offer? Let me just reiterate the point I made to the honourable

:57:11.:57:13.

gentleman that we encourage all states to consider visits by the UN

:57:14.:57:18.

high commissioner and we have had this discussion previously as well.

:57:19.:57:23.

There was a discussion about the Prime Minister's visit to India in

:57:24.:57:29.

November and of course she, as members would expect, discussed a

:57:30.:57:34.

range of issues, including on Kashmir and I hope this should be a

:57:35.:57:38.

source of reassurance to members. A number of members made... Of course.

:57:39.:57:44.

I thank him or the giving way, I would like him to be more specific

:57:45.:57:49.

to confirm that a range of issues includes human rights abuses? I

:57:50.:57:52.

thank the honourable gentleman for giving way. What I would say to him

:57:53.:57:58.

is he should take comfort from the fact that Kashmir as a subject was

:57:59.:58:01.

discussed between the two Prime Ministers. Having said that, it was

:58:02.:58:07.

a bilateral discussion and he himself as someone who has been in

:58:08.:58:12.

Government will know we can't comment on private discussions.

:58:13.:58:19.

There was a discussion about the visit of the... Of the Foreign

:58:20.:58:25.

Secretary to India and of course he is also discussing a range of

:58:26.:58:31.

issues, including regional security. Let me say that the UK Government

:58:32.:58:35.

will continue to encourage and support both India and Pakistan to

:58:36.:58:39.

find a lasting resolution to the situation in Kashmir in line with

:58:40.:58:43.

the wishes of the people of Kashmir. We cannot mediate in the process.

:58:44.:58:49.

I'm aware of the strength of feeling about Kashmir among many people in

:58:50.:58:52.

Britain and this House and I'm glad this debate has given me the

:58:53.:58:55.

opportunity to set out the Government's position. I thank

:58:56.:59:00.

members for raising the Esh use they have today -- issues they have.

:59:01.:59:11.

Thank you. This has been an historic debate, comprehensively covering the

:59:12.:59:15.

extremely important matters which relate to Kashmir and can I thank

:59:16.:59:19.

all the 19 members who have taken part in the debate and those who

:59:20.:59:25.

have made interventions. Particularly I want to thank today

:59:26.:59:33.

the Hawkhill speaking for the SNP and the shadow minister for their

:59:34.:59:37.

contributions. I do hope that in the light of this debate my honourable

:59:38.:59:43.

friend the minister will reflect on the many positive suggestions which

:59:44.:59:49.

have been made. I formally move the motion and commend it to the House.

:59:50.:59:58.

As many of the opinion say aye. Of contray no. Trino. The ayes have it.

:59:59.:00:10.

Now we come to the motion on holocaust day. We are limited on

:00:11.:00:16.

time. So I'm going to impose a limit of 15 minutes, including

:00:17.:00:20.

interventions on the opening speaker and suggest a limit of five minutes

:00:21.:00:27.

for backbenchers. If that is not adhered to, I will have to drop it

:00:28.:00:34.

to four or five minutes. Thank you. I will try not to rush my speaking

:00:35.:00:42.

after that introduction. Could I thank the members who supported me

:00:43.:00:48.

in this application to the backbench chitee for allowing -- committee for

:00:49.:00:52.

allowing the debate and all members who are participating. The Holocaust

:00:53.:00:58.

Memorial Day was established in 2001 as a result of a private member's

:00:59.:01:07.

bill. And we owe him gratitude for allowing the nation an opportunity

:01:08.:01:11.

to pause and reflect on the holocaust. It is necessary to pause,

:01:12.:01:17.

because of the impact on millions of people, on family and on humanity as

:01:18.:01:23.

a whole. It is not something we can consider lightly. I thank my

:01:24.:01:30.

honourable friend for giving way, last year I visited Auschwitz with

:01:31.:01:35.

students from Newcastle, it was a challenging and moving visit, but it

:01:36.:01:38.

was made powerful by the presence of so many young people from the

:01:39.:01:42.

Reening. Region, does my honourable friend agree we owe a debt to those

:01:43.:01:48.

at the holocaust educational trust that make this visit possible for so

:01:49.:01:53.

many people to ensure we never forget and never repeat? I'm

:01:54.:01:58.

grateful for the intervention and in a few minutes I will echo her

:01:59.:02:03.

sentiments and I will carry on with the speech and not take any more

:02:04.:02:09.

interventions, you can see the ferocity with which the deputy madam

:02:10.:02:14.

speaker is encouraging us to make progress! The theme of the Holocaust

:02:15.:02:20.

Memorial Day is how can life go on? It invites us to consider how our

:02:21.:02:27.

generation can comprehend the holocaust when so few of those who

:02:28.:02:31.

survived are still us with. We are entering an age where the lived in

:02:32.:02:36.

experience of war and the horrors is being replaced by one in which we

:02:37.:02:41.

experience is through stories handed down or the media or books or film.

:02:42.:02:45.

Because so few survivors remain, it is easy I to trivialise the events

:02:46.:02:58.

and it is not uncommon to hear people who call people concentration

:02:59.:03:06.

camp commanders for disagreeing with them. These comments are

:03:07.:03:12.

extraordinarily irresponsible, they casually draw a line between those

:03:13.:03:20.

with a deliberate attempt by state murder to murder every single member

:03:21.:03:24.

of a religious group. The only time this has happened in history to. .

:03:25.:03:34.

To do this not only trivialised the events of past, it makes the job of

:03:35.:03:40.

those with a malicious path of holocaust denial easier. So I agree

:03:41.:03:46.

with the words used last night by the Secretary of State for

:03:47.:03:51.

communities, the member for Bromsgrove at a holocaust

:03:52.:03:57.

educational event, he said, I urge people to push back when people

:03:58.:04:09.

search for comparisons that belittle this. We have to do that, the most

:04:10.:04:14.

un-British of things, we have to make a scene. Maybe in private,

:04:15.:04:18.

maybe in the media, maybe on twitser. But if we don't speak out

:04:19.:04:24.

against hatred and anti-Semitism, it will become normalised and part of

:04:25.:04:29.

every day life and once that happens the consequences will be tragic. He

:04:30.:04:33.

was speaking as a minister and a Conservative MP. I see we have his

:04:34.:04:39.

predecessor in his place, the member for Brentwood and I look forward to

:04:40.:04:47.

his comments. I stand here as a Labour MP, yet share his sentiments.

:04:48.:04:52.

I look to myself and my own political party for how I and we can

:04:53.:04:58.

strive harder to avoid language and actions that are or are perceived to

:04:59.:05:10.

be anti-semitic. We should do more to prevent this in the first place.

:05:11.:05:15.

Because the points of offence is the point at at which we know we have

:05:16.:05:20.

failed. The events we remember today are hard to imagine, due to the

:05:21.:05:24.

scale of human suffering it involves. Approximately 6 million

:05:25.:05:32.

Jewish people were murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. It

:05:33.:05:41.

was the defining element of Nazi ideology. Persecution of Jews

:05:42.:05:47.

started after Hitler's accession to power. The intensity and brutality

:05:48.:05:53.

of the policies escalated throughout Nazi rule, resulting in mass murder

:05:54.:05:58.

and genocide. It is understandable why the holocaust plays such a

:05:59.:06:04.

painful and pow perful role within the modern Jewish culture. I'm

:06:05.:06:07.

fortunate to have a large and thriving Jewish community in my

:06:08.:06:14.

constituency of Hove. We are home to four well attended and very active

:06:15.:06:20.

synagogues. They play an active role in all aspects of our life in the

:06:21.:06:24.

beautiful city on the south coast and take part in festivals and host

:06:25.:06:34.

remembrance day event to remember Jews who fell in the war. It has

:06:35.:06:42.

welcomed me to events and helped me understand the impact of the

:06:43.:06:49.

holocaust on modern Jewish life. The Rabbis there have helped answer my

:06:50.:06:54.

questions and discussion the history and the modern face of Judaism and

:06:55.:06:59.

the great thing about the group that is so welcomed and integrated into

:07:00.:07:04.

the community is it inspires others to share and to join in. That is why

:07:05.:07:11.

next week I proudly joined students at a local school which is holding

:07:12.:07:20.

an event where people from the still reflect on the meaning of the

:07:21.:07:25.

holocaust. As we approach Holocaust Memorial Day it is appropriate that

:07:26.:07:29.

we in this is House remember these events. The memorial date was chose

:07:30.:07:36.

on the respect the liberation of Auschwitz by allied forces on 27th

:07:37.:07:43.

January 1945. The death camp has become symbolic of the holocaust,

:07:44.:07:46.

due to the scale of the murder that happened there. 1. 1 million lives

:07:47.:07:53.

were ended in at this place. In November last year, I visited

:07:54.:08:00.

Auschwitz with 200 students from Sussex and another colleague. It was

:08:01.:08:07.

under the auspices of the holocaust trust. I cannot emphasise the

:08:08.:08:12.

thoughtsful and powerful way the trust guides students through the

:08:13.:08:16.

process of learning and experiencing Auschwitz. Before the visit students

:08:17.:08:22.

get together in seminars to learn the history and the facts behind the

:08:23.:08:27.

holocaust. Even meeting a holocaust survivor. They visit. And finally

:08:28.:08:32.

after their return they meet again to talk about the lesson and what it

:08:33.:08:37.

means for them as individual and us as a society. The past, the presents

:08:38.:08:44.

and the future. These fortunate young people were carry the burden

:08:45.:08:53.

of knowing the horror meted out to Jews and and the wisdom that

:08:54.:08:59.

experience bestows. Two students were from Brighton and Hove, they

:09:00.:09:05.

showed the depth of thinking and sensitivity and thoughtsfulness that

:09:06.:09:08.

makes me so proud of young people today.

:09:09.:09:17.

We saw the cells from which people tried to escape. The wall against

:09:18.:09:24.

which so many people were shot dead at the ground beneath could no

:09:25.:09:30.

longer soak up the blood. The desperately cold caverns where

:09:31.:09:33.

people slept. The train tracks that brought people to their deaths in

:09:34.:09:37.

cattle trucks. The sidings where doctors, the people trained to save

:09:38.:09:44.

and enhance life, doctors used their training to decide who was strong

:09:45.:09:49.

enough to work and all the others that should be put to death that

:09:50.:09:52.

very day. For those of us who celebrate the good that humanity is

:09:53.:09:56.

capable of, it is a shattering place to visit. At the end of the tour,

:09:57.:10:04.

guided by the extraordinary staff of the Auschwitz Museum, we gathered at

:10:05.:10:08.

the top of the Railtrack 's. We stood directly beneath the remains

:10:09.:10:11.

of two former gas chambers were tens of thousands of people lost their

:10:12.:10:17.

lives. In the darkness we listened to poetry read by students. Then a

:10:18.:10:26.

Rabbi sang prayer is in the still remains of hearts, gas chambers and

:10:27.:10:31.

forests. The beauty pierced the horror of the location. Jewish prey

:10:32.:10:37.

are being sung in that place was lost on nobody. Then, as we left,

:10:38.:10:42.

leaving behind us lighted candles on the tracks, which looked like a

:10:43.:10:46.

blazing path of light into the terrible darkness which still hangs

:10:47.:10:50.

over that place. This is the image that remains most strong in my mind

:10:51.:10:55.

because a blazing pathway of light is what has to be needs from our

:10:56.:11:00.

generation and goes into the future. It will come in the form of

:11:01.:11:05.

remembering, learning, and of being brave enough to confront hatred. For

:11:06.:11:09.

those of us in public life, it will mean using the power we have to

:11:10.:11:18.

unite and temper and never to exploit. These are some of the many

:11:19.:11:23.

lessons I have learned from listening and discussing the

:11:24.:11:26.

Holocaust and its role in shaping modern Jewish life across Britain.

:11:27.:11:32.

It is also moments of reflection like this in the House of Commons

:11:33.:11:34.

through to community schools and living rooms across the country that

:11:35.:11:38.

are so desperately important. Thank you. The question is that this House

:11:39.:11:47.

considered Holocaust Memorial Day 2017. Thank you. It has been a great

:11:48.:11:55.

honour to follow the honourable gentleman. I thought it was a very

:11:56.:12:02.

thoughtful speech, and I agree entirely with what he has said. In

:12:03.:12:08.

April last year I visited the former Nazi death camp which the people of

:12:09.:12:19.

Poland have preserved in testimony of man's inhumanity to man and,

:12:20.:12:25.

Treblinka. The world is grateful to the ways in which Poland has acted

:12:26.:12:28.

as a custodian for these terrible places. Treblinka is unambiguously a

:12:29.:12:38.

death camp. Most victims survive from the a few hours, and those who

:12:39.:12:45.

were too frail to make it to the gas chambers were escorted to hospital,

:12:46.:12:51.

which was a facade, it wasn't open pit and they were shot and there are

:12:52.:12:55.

some things still living bodies were thrown into the pet.

:12:56.:13:06.

The best estimate is somewhere between 700 and 900,000 dues were

:13:07.:13:20.

killed in Treblinka's gas chambers. Moore one were killed in Treblinka

:13:21.:13:23.

than any other Nazi extermination camp, apart from Auschwitz. It is a

:13:24.:13:35.

grim place. Elizabeth in the five monument and a carefully laid --

:13:36.:13:38.

carefully laid stones remembering the different communities. I laid a

:13:39.:13:44.

wreath, and following the visit I tweeted my observations. Within

:13:45.:13:52.

minutes I received a tweet that said no one died in Treblinka, it was a

:13:53.:13:56.

transit camp. There were no gas chambers, no crematorium and now

:13:57.:14:02.

mass graves. I have no idea whether the person who sent me that actually

:14:03.:14:09.

believed it or not. I think it is all too easy to dismiss this as yet

:14:10.:14:16.

another example of our post-truth world fake news that is prevalent on

:14:17.:14:21.

social media. But I think there is something more sinister going on.

:14:22.:14:28.

Members will recall the ten stages of Holocaust, of genocide, starting

:14:29.:14:32.

with classification, working through to persecution and extermination.

:14:33.:14:42.

But the tenth stage is the final stage, and that is Holocaust denial,

:14:43.:14:48.

it did not happen, the numbers were exaggerated, there were not many

:14:49.:14:52.

dues in the first place. They brought it on themselves. The dues

:14:53.:14:55.

and using it to justify their actions. To forget and belittle...

:14:56.:15:22.

-- if you looked at the trailer and beneath at the comments made by

:15:23.:15:27.

people, there are thousands of abuse of comments. , perpetrating the

:15:28.:15:35.

claim that the Holocaust was fake. Only a few days ago, David Irving

:15:36.:15:43.

claimed he was inspiring a new generation of Holocaust sceptic 's.

:15:44.:15:45.

That is a fancy way of dressing up Holocaust denial.

:15:46.:16:00.

Along with the right honourable member I am proud to be a member of

:16:01.:16:12.

the Association, which is going to establish the memorial in a

:16:13.:16:17.

massively important place. And international design competition was

:16:18.:16:20.

launched last year, with 92 teams expressing an interest. Ten were

:16:21.:16:28.

short listed and we will load pretty soon that when the competition ends

:16:29.:16:43.

Monday, I think it will be a lasting monument, something we are immensely

:16:44.:16:58.

year... Others want to speak, so I year... Others want to speak, so I

:16:59.:17:05.

want to finish with a quote which explains why we're doing this. In a

:17:06.:17:20.

Nobel prize acceptance speech, now that they are not alone, that when

:17:21.:17:26.

there are voices is stifled, we shall lend them as. But while their

:17:27.:17:34.

freedom depends on hours, the quality of our freedom depends on

:17:35.:17:45.

there as. Thank you. I welcome this debate and the fact that it was a

:17:46.:17:50.

decision of this Parliament on an all-party basis that has led to as

:17:51.:17:52.

having Holocaust Memorial Day this is an opportunity

:17:53.:18:20.

to reflect on current anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is indeed a virus. It

:18:21.:18:26.

spans different religions, different political parties, and it changes

:18:27.:18:32.

its form overtime. I very much welcome the government's acceptance

:18:33.:18:38.

of the International Holocaust Alliance's definition of

:18:39.:18:40.

anti-Semitism because it is important that we focus on what

:18:41.:18:47.

anti-Semitism means in this era, as well as historically. Indeed, the

:18:48.:18:55.

figures from the Community Security Trust show as shockingly that there

:18:56.:19:00.

has been a resurgence of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic

:19:01.:19:07.

discourse. It is important not to exaggerate this, and most British

:19:08.:19:12.

Jewish people will go through the lights without experiencing

:19:13.:19:16.

anti-Semitism. But there is a profound unease across the Jewish

:19:17.:19:19.

community in the UK with the increase of anti-Semitic incidents

:19:20.:19:25.

and comments. As the Community Security Trust report on

:19:26.:19:31.

anti-Semitic discourse shows, reflect sometimes insinuations and

:19:32.:19:36.

allusions, if not direct anti-Semitism. It is always

:19:37.:19:40.

important to remember that anti-Semitism does not lie solely in

:19:41.:19:45.

one religion. Historically, Christianity was often the source of

:19:46.:19:52.

anti-Semitism. But it is also found in extreme Islamist sources as well.

:19:53.:19:55.

We only have to look at a charter to see clear, explicit anti-Semitism

:19:56.:20:06.

references to Jewish people. Anti-Semitism is not only just found

:20:07.:20:11.

on the right. I think conventionally people think it is confined to the

:20:12.:20:15.

right of politics, and that is not the case, and has never been the

:20:16.:20:21.

case. This is a fact that people who declare themselves to be

:20:22.:20:27.

anti-racialist and not necessarily opposed to anti-Semitism or even

:20:28.:20:31.

understand what it is. Shocking that I find this as a person of the left

:20:32.:20:39.

and as a Labour Party member, I recognise there is a fightback,

:20:40.:20:43.

which is being led by non-Jewish people as well as by Jewish people.

:20:44.:20:50.

This week there has been a showing of the film denial in parliament.

:20:51.:20:59.

The film showing, as the right honourable member mentioned, the

:21:00.:21:06.

trial of David Irving, the Holocaust denier. It is indeed truly shocking

:21:07.:21:18.

that today, as the film is being shown, and as he was defeated soap

:21:19.:21:27.

conclusively, it is reported that there are more supporters for the

:21:28.:21:35.

lie of Holocaust denial, more online supporters, and this appears to be

:21:36.:21:41.

gathering in force. This is a reminder of the importance of

:21:42.:21:49.

Holocaust memorial day of this debate, and the support of combating

:21:50.:21:52.

modern-day manifestations of anti-Semitism. It is an honour to

:21:53.:22:07.

respond to this debate. Last November the honourable member for

:22:08.:22:12.

Hove and I stood with young people from across the south-east of

:22:13.:22:16.

England on the train tracks at Auschwitz, where 1.1 million Jewish

:22:17.:22:21.

men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis. I travelled

:22:22.:22:28.

to Poland as part of the lesson run by the Holocaust educational trust.

:22:29.:22:33.

The train tracks run right into the tracks. Ahead of the watchtowers

:22:34.:22:39.

at all times. At the end of the at all times. At the end of the

:22:40.:22:40.

tracks are the remains of gas chambers. To the left and right, as

:22:41.:22:45.

far as the eye can see, if the barracks where those selected to

:22:46.:22:49.

work were held. As we stood on the train tracks, our educator read an

:22:50.:22:53.

extract from a young boy who stood extract from a young boy who stood

:22:54.:22:58.

on those same train tracks 34 years earlier. The extract has shared with

:22:59.:23:02.

me and I want to share it. Men to the left, women to the right. Eight

:23:03.:23:08.

words were spoken quietly, indifferently without emotion. Eight

:23:09.:23:16.

short words. That was when I departed from my mother. I had not

:23:17.:23:21.

had time to think but already I felt the pressure of my father's hand. We

:23:22.:23:25.

were alone. Were part of a second I saw my mother and sister moving to

:23:26.:23:31.

the right. I saw them disappeared into the distance holding hands. My

:23:32.:23:36.

mother was stroking my sister's fair hair is pulled to protect, as I

:23:37.:23:40.

walked on with my father and other men. I know -- I did not know that I

:23:41.:23:47.

was parting with my mother for ever. I went on walking, my father held

:23:48.:23:51.

onto my hand. These are the memories of a professor, Nobel laureate. He

:23:52.:24:00.

spent the rest of his life in shooting the Holocaust was not

:24:01.:24:05.

forgotten. He passed away in July 2016, just a few months before my

:24:06.:24:11.

visit aged 87. So today in Parliament we debate this horror, we

:24:12.:24:16.

speak in honour of him and those who perished in the camps or survived

:24:17.:24:21.

against all odds. Many of those who lived dedicated the rest of their

:24:22.:24:23.

lives to make sure the experiences would never be repeated. The stories

:24:24.:24:28.

act as a reminder of the evil which mankind can deliver on itself when

:24:29.:24:35.

hatred and violence is left unchecked. Yesterday in Parliament I

:24:36.:24:38.

spoke with six young people who made the same trip to Auschwitz over the

:24:39.:24:39.

last few They have deviced imaginative idea

:24:40.:24:48.

ideas to ensure that the horrors of the holocaust act as a flame to

:24:49.:24:52.

guard gents the darkness of hatred and division. Time doesn't permit to

:24:53.:24:58.

mention all their stories, the final young ambassador was dharlt Herd.

:24:59.:25:01.

She had been keen to develop her knowledge of the holocaust having,

:25:02.:25:05.

as she did, a great grandmother who had been in a concentration camp in

:25:06.:25:10.

the last year of the war. Little was spoken about this experience and

:25:11.:25:14.

Charlotte lost her great grandmother in 2015. This motivated Charlotte to

:25:15.:25:18.

complete her lessons in Auschwitz project in April last year. On her

:25:19.:25:24.

return from Auschwitz Charlotte and her attendee from her school created

:25:25.:25:26.

a memorial which would inspire others. This is how she described

:25:27.:25:31.

her work to me. We wanted to involve the students within our school as a

:25:32.:25:35.

way of uniting them. We have a school that has 40 plus different

:25:36.:25:38.

languages. We thought this was very poignant as many cultures and races

:25:39.:25:43.

were victims of persecution, but of course in particular the Jews.

:25:44.:25:47.

Therefore the hands represent the many different students within our

:25:48.:25:50.

school. Although they may be different in appearance, language or

:25:51.:25:53.

traditions, their hands are something that unite them and join

:25:54.:25:57.

them together. The word I've painted on one of the panel reads as

:25:58.:26:01.

follows, "I believe in the sun, even when it is not chieng. I believe in

:26:02.:26:06.

love, even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God even when he is

:26:07.:26:11.

silent." These words were written inside a cell in the concentration

:26:12.:26:15.

camp and we chose it because it showed the struggle the Jews had

:26:16.:26:23.

faced. D the. The prisoner never lost his faith in God. As am balls

:26:24.:26:27.

dors these ares key words can inspire all the students in our

:26:28.:26:32.

school." These young ambassadors are doing an outstanding job at

:26:33.:26:35.

reminding their peers what happened during the Second World War. The

:26:36.:26:41.

importance could never be greater. First-hand experiences deliver the

:26:42.:26:44.

power. 75 years on, these voices are being losts. We therefore have to

:26:45.:26:51.

find imaginative ways to appeal to others. We live in a society where

:26:52.:26:55.

negativity and casual insults are never far from the surface. We

:26:56.:26:59.

should never assume that the horrors of the Third Reich can never be

:27:00.:27:04.

repeated in Europe. . The Germany of 1930s had culture, history and

:27:05.:27:11.

people of differing creeds living side by side but hate turned a

:27:12.:27:18.

country where sending people toll their graves was accepted by

:27:19.:27:20.

millions of people who had previously worked amongst them. The

:27:21.:27:25.

noise of hatred in 2017 may be low but a civilised society must learn

:27:26.:27:29.

to switch it off before it deafens us. Can I thank you the Holocaust

:27:30.:27:36.

Educational Trust for ensuring this country remembers the unspeakable

:27:37.:27:40.

evil that created the holocaust. Can I thank the Trust for delivering the

:27:41.:27:44.

new voices, the young and not so young who will ensure we never

:27:45.:27:48.

forget what occurred and we do all we can to stop the under currents

:27:49.:27:53.

which, left unchecked, could make it occur again. Thank you. Holocaust

:27:54.:28:00.

Memorial Day is a crime we must never forget. We must never forget

:28:01.:28:05.

the genocide committed by Nazi Germany. We must remind you are

:28:06.:28:12.

Selves of the horrors that anti-Semitism can produce. Holocaust

:28:13.:28:17.

Memorial Day itself, the Holocaust Educational Trust is hosting a live

:28:18.:28:24.

webcast with holocaust survivor. This will be live streamed to

:28:25.:28:27.

schools all across the UK over 600 schools have signed up so far. This

:28:28.:28:34.

live streaming, this filming, will take place at Kings immediate School

:28:35.:28:40.

in my constituency of Enfield North. I'm very proud this is happening

:28:41.:28:45.

there. I commend the school for posting the event -- Kingsmead. I

:28:46.:28:51.

know the event is very important and will have a significant impact. We

:28:52.:28:57.

thank her for being willing to share her terrible experiences and give

:28:58.:29:03.

her testimony and educate our young people we thank the Holocaust

:29:04.:29:05.

Educational Trust for organising this event. Even when it makes for

:29:06.:29:09.

difficult hearing, we have a moral duty to listen to holocaust

:29:10.:29:13.

testimony. Survivors speak not only for themselves, but also for those

:29:14.:29:17.

who did not survive to tell their story.

:29:18.:29:28.

One survivor who taken to an SS camp. After 18 months, he was one of

:29:29.:29:40.

only 11 of the original 2,500 men left alive. He escaped transfer to

:29:41.:29:50.

the gas chambers twice before being transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

:29:51.:29:58.

He was selected by death. But when healthier and fitter people were in

:29:59.:30:02.

the other line he ran across when the guards were distracted. He was a

:30:03.:30:09.

slave labourer in austerity before being put on a death march. He was

:30:10.:30:14.

transferred to another camp where he was liberated by the Russian army.

:30:15.:30:17.

He describes life in Auschwitz and the death march. I quote, "we were

:30:18.:30:22.

choosen to work on agriculture for the SS. First with two horses, they

:30:23.:30:28.

ploughed the field. For fertilisation they would bring us

:30:29.:30:35.

ashes from the crematorium and we put it on the ground. You could feel

:30:36.:30:41.

18th January 1 # 45. We walked with 18th January 1 # 45. We walked with

:30:42.:30:52.

three days without any food in the striped pyjamas. We were loaded on

:30:53.:31:02.

the station. We were taken to a place, the camp was eight kilometers

:31:03.:31:08.

in a forest. We were more dead than alive when we arrived. " He lives in

:31:09.:31:13.

Leeds, he is 88 years old. His testimony reminds us of the

:31:14.:31:19.

brutality of Nazi anti-Semitism. His testimony is a powerful rebuttal to

:31:20.:31:24.

those today who continue the awful practice of holocaust denial. Those

:31:25.:31:29.

who minimise, trivialise, distort or deny the horrors of the holocaust do

:31:30.:31:34.

so in order to legit mice the anti-Semitism that fuelled it. We

:31:35.:31:39.

must recognise when people claim the gas chambers a myth, argue that the

:31:40.:31:45.

holocaust is Jewish propaganda, distort Nazi history, imm my the

:31:46.:31:49.

number of holocaust victims or attacking Holocaust Memorial Days

:31:50.:31:53.

they do not do so out of historical interest or a desire for debate.

:31:54.:32:00.

They do so from nothing but prejudice, bigotry and naked

:32:01.:32:04.

anti-Semitism. Will you you give way. Of course. The testimony she is

:32:05.:32:12.

referring to show the continuing relevance and importance of

:32:13.:32:14.

Holocaust Memorial Day. The vast majority of people in this country

:32:15.:32:17.

are decent, we have seen a rise in hate crime. 41% between July 2015

:32:18.:32:24.

and July 2016. It has gone down. It's still at that level. The

:32:25.:32:31.

continuing relevance of those testimonies speaks to us all? We

:32:32.:32:35.

must never be a bystander. I totally agree. When he wrote his

:32:36.:32:39.

autobiography he called his book A Detail of History he chose that

:32:40.:32:49.

title as a riposte to Mr Le Penn who referred to the gas chambers in

:32:50.:32:52.

those terms. Our words of remembrance would mean nothing if we

:32:53.:32:57.

do not commit ourselves to action preserving the memory of the

:32:58.:33:03.

murderser is not a theoretical exercise. -- murders. As he said,

:33:04.:33:10.

"what hurts the most is not the actions of the oppressor, but the

:33:11.:33:15.

silence of the bystander." We must support the brilliant work done by

:33:16.:33:22.

Hope Not Hate to counter racism and fascism in our society. We must

:33:23.:33:26.

support the fantastic work done by the Holocaust Educational Trust. The

:33:27.:33:32.

only way to truly eradicate Raissiism, anti-Semitism and

:33:33.:33:34.

holocaust denial in our society is through educating people. This is

:33:35.:33:41.

what Mr Hersch devoted his life to for the past 20 years, "if you talk

:33:42.:33:45.

about the holocaust to people, people learn and if anything like

:33:46.:33:50.

that could come up again, they would stand up against it. So that's why I

:33:51.:33:57.

talk about it all the time." In his words we must follow. We must

:33:58.:34:02.

remember. We must mourn and, above all, we must educate so that racism

:34:03.:34:06.

and anti-Semitism can never flourish again.

:34:07.:34:09.

Thank you. A pleasure to follow the honourable member for Enfield North.

:34:10.:34:16.

I would commend the honourable member for Hove for the way he

:34:17.:34:22.

introduced this particular debate. Jewish people have suffered

:34:23.:34:24.

anti-Semitism throughout the centuries. There is nothing new in

:34:25.:34:31.

that. As the honourable member reminded us, anti-Semitism is still

:34:32.:34:35.

rife, not only all over the world, but in this country as well. We can

:34:36.:34:41.

never forget that fact. It did reach its peak with the systematic attempt

:34:42.:34:45.

by the Nazis to wipe out Jews from across the world. I grew up in an

:34:46.:34:54.

area where he were educated amongst Jewish people, Indian people,

:34:55.:34:59.

Muslims, people of all religions, but the holocaust was never talked

:35:00.:35:05.

about. I, my first visit to Israel, in 1992, I saw not the wonderful

:35:06.:35:11.

museum, but the original museum. It brought home to me what life was

:35:12.:35:15.

like in Germany that the Jewish people in Germany and beyond

:35:16.:35:20.

suffered through that time and the systematic attempts to wipe them

:35:21.:35:26.

out. It brought home to me then the need to actually educate young

:35:27.:35:30.

people across this country on the need to remember what happened

:35:31.:35:34.

because it's very hard to contemplate the systematic attempt

:35:35.:35:38.

to wipe out people. It's very easy to think this was just a small

:35:39.:35:43.

number of mad people. It wasn't. There were large numbers of people

:35:44.:35:47.

involved in this. It was a systematic attempt. Therefore, we

:35:48.:35:51.

must remember that it's not just good enough to pinpoint the evil

:35:52.:35:56.

people that did this, but also those that stood by while recognising it

:35:57.:36:05.

was going on. I also remember - my visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is

:36:06.:36:08.

seared in my consciousness. I think the reality is that when you go

:36:09.:36:13.

there and see at first-hand what happened, it brings home to me the

:36:14.:36:20.

importance of the testimonal of those that survived the death camps,

:36:21.:36:26.

to prove that it happened. I was privileged to welcome to this House,

:36:27.:36:31.

together with honourable member for Dudley North who is not able to be

:36:32.:36:38.

with us today a woman who was forced to go to Auschwitz-Birkenau at the

:36:39.:36:43.

point of a gun aged 16. She survived to tell the tale. She survived to

:36:44.:36:50.

come to this country, to give her life as a nurse, to build a family,

:36:51.:36:56.

to build a life in this area. Yet when she went to Birmingham, when

:36:57.:37:03.

she was there with the Jewish community, on her arrival they

:37:04.:37:06.

wanted to ignore the fact of the holocaust. They wanted to forget

:37:07.:37:09.

about it. It was a terrible thing, but they wanted to turn literally a

:37:10.:37:14.

blind eye to what happened. I think that's important to recognise, that

:37:15.:37:19.

in in country, way back then, there was almost an attempt to - not to

:37:20.:37:25.

belittle the holocaust, but to try and forget about it. Just imagine

:37:26.:37:31.

then, she went back to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1978, a long,

:37:32.:37:35.

long time ago, before Holocaust Memorial Day was ever thought of,

:37:36.:37:42.

and to do a documentary on Return to Auschwitz. She wrote a brilliant

:37:43.:37:46.

book. It's almost the forerunner of what we now see in the Holocaust

:37:47.:37:52.

Educational Trust. I think that's... She's a very brave lady. She is very

:37:53.:37:59.

outspoken and quite rightly too on the work that she's done and what we

:38:00.:38:08.

have to do to combat. We have three major feature films now. Schindler's

:38:09.:38:15.

List, Sophie's Choice and now Denial. Two will be well-known to

:38:16.:38:19.

members across the House. Denial will be released next Friday on the

:38:20.:38:24.

general release on Holocaust Memorial Day. It is, interesting

:38:25.:38:31.

enough, the trial of Irvine, it was him who brought the case. He was

:38:32.:38:36.

eventually put on trial and proven to be a holocaust denier and he was

:38:37.:38:44.

shown to be the fool that he was. I think that's a systematic. It is a

:38:45.:38:48.

brilliant film. I would recommend colleagues from across the House to

:38:49.:38:58.

see it. I also pay tribute to an honourable lady in my constituency.

:38:59.:39:05.

She was born in 1923, the youngest of nine children. When the Nazis

:39:06.:39:10.

bombed her home city on 1st September 1939 on the outbreak of

:39:11.:39:16.

the Second World War she then moved and they planned, the family planned

:39:17.:39:21.

to move to the United States, but unfortunately she moved too late.

:39:22.:39:28.

They moved just outside Krakow. In 1941 she was in the Ghetto. She

:39:29.:39:35.

entered the Ghetto carrying a sack of potatoes, flour and a few other

:39:36.:39:39.

belongings. She stayed there with her mother and siblings. Her brother

:39:40.:39:44.

was shot by the SS. A second brother fled and was never seen again. She

:39:45.:39:50.

and her surviving family were eventually sent to a labour camp on

:39:51.:39:58.

the edge of Krakow. Her consider and her husband who married in the

:39:59.:40:03.

Ghetto had been shot after the Nazis found her bringing food into the

:40:04.:40:09.

camp. In the winter of 44-45 the camp was liquidated. . They. They

:40:10.:40:12.

had to walk to Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of the forced death march.

:40:13.:40:18.

In January 1945 she was sent with her family on a death march, leaving

:40:19.:40:26.

behind her sister. They never saw her again. After several days, they

:40:27.:40:35.

came to Germany. They were forced into trucks. They travelled under

:40:36.:40:39.

terrible conditions for three to four macro weeks, eventually rising

:40:40.:40:45.

in a concentration camp. Then she was sent to Bergen-Belsen, and she

:40:46.:40:54.

worked in a hospital for the next two months trying to support her

:40:55.:40:58.

mother the best she could. On the 15th of April, the British Army

:40:59.:41:07.

liberated Bergen-Belsen. Among the liberators was a man who later

:41:08.:41:11.

became her husband half a year later. Today, she lives in Stanmore

:41:12.:41:17.

and is in close touch with her children and grandchildren. She

:41:18.:41:20.

wrote a book recently called highlight a candle, and at the age

:41:21.:41:27.

of 93 goes to schools up and down the country to inform people of what

:41:28.:41:32.

happened. Madam Deputy Speaker, could I commend this in my name and

:41:33.:41:41.

a cross-party basis commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. It has been

:41:42.:41:46.

so far signed by 44 honourable members. I would hope that many more

:41:47.:41:52.

could do so later. Indeed, the book of commitment from the Holocaust

:41:53.:41:56.

educational trust is available for members to sign. It has been

:41:57.:42:01.

available this week, it will be available next week in the member is

:42:02.:42:06.

cornered, and I would encourage members from across the House to

:42:07.:42:10.

sign the book of commitment and demonstrate that we commemorate

:42:11.:42:18.

those victims and make sure that we all honour that life will go on.

:42:19.:42:30.

I declared an interest as a member of the Holocaust Memorial foundation

:42:31.:42:38.

along with the right honourable member for Brentwood and

:42:39.:42:50.

Ongar. It is possibly the first time we have ever agreed!

:42:51.:43:07.

He said about man's inhumanity to man. That is a quote from Robert

:43:08.:43:16.

Burns, and it finishes with, makes countless thousands more are --

:43:17.:43:31.

mourn. It is more fitting perhaps because next Wednesday is Robert

:43:32.:43:32.

Burns Day, and national Holocaust a. Although the Holocaust was the

:43:33.:43:47.

greatest crime of the 20th century, one of the greatest crime is perhaps

:43:48.:43:52.

the greatest crime in human history, the greatest example of man's

:43:53.:43:58.

inhumanity to man, anti-Semitism is not something restricted to the 20th

:43:59.:44:05.

century or indeed restricted to Islam.

:44:06.:44:15.

years ago I was privileged as First Minister to write the introduction

:44:16.:44:25.

to a book called the Jews in Scotland, and I claim no virtue for

:44:26.:44:28.

the Scottish nation in this sense, that Scotland is one of only two

:44:29.:44:31.

nations in the whole of the continent who have never had

:44:32.:44:36.

anti-Semitic legislation on the statute book. Scotland 's

:44:37.:44:42.

declaration of Independence has an appeal to respect the rights of

:44:43.:44:49.

Jews, all of whom are equal in the eyes of God. It stands alone among

:44:50.:44:53.

medieval documents in making that call. So we should remember that

:44:54.:45:01.

anti-Semitism and the consequences of it have been something with as --

:45:02.:45:06.

that have been with us through the greater part of recorded human

:45:07.:45:11.

history. I want to say a word about the work of the foundation and

:45:12.:45:16.

indeed the work of the Auschwitz project because it cuts straight to

:45:17.:45:20.

the heart of what many members have spoken about. The Auschwitz project

:45:21.:45:32.

takes Scottish schoolchildren to Auschwitz. It has had 358 post-16

:45:33.:45:37.

establishments have taken part in the project since it was inaugurated

:45:38.:45:47.

in 2013, that is over two thirds of schools in Scotland. Is privileged

:45:48.:45:55.

-- I was privileged as First Minister to hear from these pupils

:45:56.:46:00.

after their visit, and not one of those pupils will ever forget the

:46:01.:46:06.

experience or have any truck with a Holocaust denier. I know that some

:46:07.:46:13.

members of the House even yesterday expressed some doubt about the

:46:14.:46:17.

memorial in Victoria Park, but it is a highly appropriate place for that

:46:18.:46:22.

memorial to be built. Regardless of where the memorial was built, it

:46:23.:46:38.

should be said that... Over the last few days in the antiques Road show

:46:39.:46:44.

that took place from this Palace of Westminster, it included many

:46:45.:46:54.

stories. One man from Dumfries was arrested in Budapest which was --

:46:55.:47:02.

one women from Dumfries was arrested and

:47:03.:47:09.

Not everyone stood aside as these atrocities were taking place. The

:47:10.:47:16.

film is exemplified this. Many people rallied to the cause of their

:47:17.:47:23.

fellow human beings. That educational project under learning

:47:24.:47:26.

that goes with it is absolutely vital because the circumstances are

:47:27.:47:31.

now that sadly few of the survivors of the Holocaust are still with us,

:47:32.:47:36.

and our number goes fewer by the day. There for the teaching and

:47:37.:47:39.

personal experience that can be imbued from family connections and

:47:40.:47:44.

visits to the concentration camps is all the more vital. There will not

:47:45.:47:52.

be any voices of dissent from the benches today, but I want to argue

:47:53.:47:56.

one final point which I think is of fundamental importance. Recognising

:47:57.:48:02.

and commemorating the significance of the Holocaust, of man's

:48:03.:48:11.

inhumanity to man, is not something restricted to any religious grouping

:48:12.:48:14.

at any point of view. It is something that should be

:48:15.:48:17.

commemorated by those who take a pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli or

:48:18.:48:23.

pro-peace aspect view of the Middle East. Last year on the Holocaust

:48:24.:48:34.

Memorial day, I commemorated outside the Strasbourg assembly, and I was

:48:35.:48:39.

led to make a point of order because the Israeli diplomat representing

:48:40.:48:41.

the Israeli government at that service launched an attack on the

:48:42.:48:46.

President of Iran, who was visiting France at the time. It was

:48:47.:48:50.

particularly inappropriate because President -- President Rahane is not

:48:51.:49:02.

a Holocaust denier. All of us, regardless of affiliation or point

:49:03.:49:08.

of view or religion, all of us must recognise that there are those among

:49:09.:49:13.

us who would seek to deny the terrible crimes of the past for

:49:14.:49:17.

their own cynical motivation is. But those who do not deny it, those who

:49:18.:49:21.

acknowledge it and face up to it, those who recognise it, which is the

:49:22.:49:26.

first step in preventing it happening again, these people of

:49:27.:49:32.

whatever point of view should be embraced by us as fellow human

:49:33.:49:39.

beings. I would like to start by thanking the honourable member for

:49:40.:49:43.

securing the debate. Not only is it very relevant at this time of year

:49:44.:49:49.

but it is also very relevant to myself and my constituents. The last

:49:50.:49:52.

speaker said there are fewer and fewer survivors, and he is correct.

:49:53.:49:58.

But I have a significant number of those survivors, people involved in

:49:59.:50:02.

the Holocaust, people whose families perished, and even those who escaped

:50:03.:50:07.

the Holocaust by their relatives coming here. I even had a former

:50:08.:50:13.

constituent, a reverend, who was one of those who witnessed what happened

:50:14.:50:17.

after the Holocaust. He was indeed a chaplain who, along with the British

:50:18.:50:23.

Army, entered Bergen-Belsen, and during the daytime he not only

:50:24.:50:27.

engaged in the circumcision of babies, but later he would engage in

:50:28.:50:30.

the burial and cremation of the bodies. So I think it is appropriate

:50:31.:50:38.

that the theme for the Memorial Day is how can live go one? I want to

:50:39.:50:49.

mention a centre in my constituency. There is many survivors who visit on

:50:50.:50:53.

a regular basis and give each other support and receive pastoral care in

:50:54.:50:57.

the later years of their life. I know that for many people I have

:50:58.:51:02.

spoken to, it is very much a check list organisation serving the

:51:03.:51:05.

community. But particularly I wanted to pay attention to one member who

:51:06.:51:11.

lives above the survivors Centre, and she speaks to schools on behalf

:51:12.:51:15.

of the Holocaust educational trust. She was born in Poland in 1929. She

:51:16.:51:22.

lived with her parents and younger sister. But the Nazis marched into

:51:23.:51:30.

her tone and decided to take over her flat because they liked it so

:51:31.:51:35.

much. Her family were simply thrown out onto the street with no

:51:36.:51:39.

possessions. So she went to live with baby relatives who looked after

:51:40.:51:46.

her. But as the war continued, the Nazis established a ghetto in the

:51:47.:51:49.

Tyne and Wear all the Jewish inhabitants had to live. Several

:51:50.:51:59.

people lived -- inhabitants. In 1952 the Nazis announced everyone in the

:52:00.:52:02.

ghetto was being moved, and believing they would soon be

:52:03.:52:11.

returned... That was the last thing they saw their family. Her mother

:52:12.:52:20.

decided she would hide her and her sister under a coat, but her sister

:52:21.:52:31.

was found and taken. In 1944 the Nazis said the ghetto was going to

:52:32.:52:34.

be liquidated than they should call to the train station. Renny and her

:52:35.:52:45.

mother were transported to a warehouse in hamburg. In 1945 they

:52:46.:52:54.

were moved again to Bergen-Belsen. Fortunately Renny and her mother

:52:55.:52:57.

were liberated from Bergen-Belsen on the 15th of April in 1945 by the

:52:58.:53:02.

same British Army I mentioned and the Reverend. Unfortunately 12 days

:53:03.:53:08.

later, Renny's mother died. Like other members here, I visited

:53:09.:53:15.

Auschwitz on several occasions. Seeing is really believing and

:53:16.:53:18.

understanding, and I have to say, watching the faces of some pupils in

:53:19.:53:23.

my constituency is not only very moving, but it is also very telling.

:53:24.:53:27.

The last time I visited Auschwitz was on the 27th of January 2014,

:53:28.:53:32.

when I attended the International Holocaust Memorial Day through the

:53:33.:53:38.

international gathering at Auschwitz, alongside Lord Howard. On

:53:39.:53:43.

that day, the temperature fell to -10, and never in my life have I

:53:44.:53:48.

been that cold, and I still find it incredulous that people could manage

:53:49.:53:53.

to survive those conditions. But serve if they did, and many people

:53:54.:53:58.

then moved to the United Kingdom itself. On one occasion when I

:53:59.:54:05.

visited Auschwitz I discovered e-book. -- a book. A man speaks

:54:06.:54:14.

about the problems he faced in the camp. He says, the opposite of love

:54:15.:54:22.

is not hate, it is indifference. And that is the reason we continued to

:54:23.:54:27.

remember and commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. On Monday, I visited

:54:28.:54:34.

Edgware district reform synagogue, where I heard someone tell a hundred

:54:35.:54:44.

pupils about her time during the Holocaust. I pay great tribute to

:54:45.:54:54.

those who do this work. In 2012, the England football team went to

:54:55.:54:58.

Auschwitz, to show them what occurred and to hear first-hand

:54:59.:55:06.

testimony of this woman's brother and his experience. As a result it

:55:07.:55:09.

not only highlighted the issue but also brought to a new generation the

:55:10.:55:12.

problems of the Holocaust. Some of my staff have asked me about

:55:13.:55:18.

my experiences and visit to Auschwitz. I'm pleased to say, when

:55:19.:55:22.

it gets warmer, in the spring, I will take my office staff from

:55:23.:55:25.

Parliament to Auschwitz. I think I can probably give them a good

:55:26.:55:29.

experience on the amount of occasions I've visit and the amount

:55:30.:55:33.

of books I've read. I want to finish on a positive note. I want to thank

:55:34.:55:39.

first of all my right honourable friend for Brentwood Ongar for the

:55:40.:55:42.

work he has done. He has been a tireless campaigner on this issue

:55:43.:55:45.

and has been a real friend to the Jewish community. I thank him for

:55:46.:55:49.

that on behalf of my constituents. Finally, I want to thank every

:55:50.:55:54.

single member who is here today, I have many Jewish constituents, as

:55:55.:55:57.

I've said, so you would expect me to be here. I understand that. But I'm

:55:58.:56:01.

grateful to each and every one. You who have come along today who

:56:02.:56:04.

don't have either Jewish constituents or certainly don't have

:56:05.:56:08.

constituents who experienced the Holocaust. I thank each and every

:56:09.:56:09.

one. You for that. Thank you. One day in

:56:10.:56:19.

November I had the unforgettable experience of visiting

:56:20.:56:22.

Auschwitz-Birkenau with students from Ealing Independent College and

:56:23.:56:28.

the Holocaust Educational Trust. It was a long and difficult day. We

:56:29.:56:34.

flew out at Luton at 6.00am and back at 11.00pm. 200 from schools from

:56:35.:56:40.

the London region that day will rest for us forever. Icy conditions,

:56:41.:56:45.

minus four degrees the emotional demands of the day a harsh context

:56:46.:56:52.

for bearing witness for the horror committed in the death camps. If a

:56:53.:56:56.

one minute silence welcome back to be served for every victim who

:56:57.:57:00.

perished there we would have been there for two years. 0 plus years on

:57:01.:57:06.

since the liberation of Auschwitz it has contemporary relevance. With the

:57:07.:57:10.

passage of time there are fewer and fewer survivors from the camps and

:57:11.:57:13.

transport children and the people who liberated them. We owe a huge

:57:14.:57:19.

debt to those people and organisations such as HET, HMD, head

:57:20.:57:25.

up up bio live ya, who was I was at school with. The commemorations we

:57:26.:57:29.

will see in the neck week, up-and-down the country, in

:57:30.:57:34.

educating successive generation. We can only understand our present and

:57:35.:57:37.

future if we understand our past. This is a debate about six million

:57:38.:57:41.

Jewish victims of the Holocaust and it also extends to millions of

:57:42.:57:48.

others that the Nazis exterminated, romany gypsies, communist,

:57:49.:57:52.

socialist, trade unionists and gays and those slaughtered in origin

:57:53.:57:55.

sides. Holocaust education campaigning evolves. We have already

:57:56.:58:00.

had mention of the Antiques Road Show over the weekend that featured

:58:01.:58:06.

memorabilia and the artefacts that we saw in Auschwitz are on display

:58:07.:58:11.

in Israel. That brought it into the nation's living rooms over

:58:12.:58:16.

prime-time TV. This year's Holocaust Memorial Day schools pack contains

:58:17.:58:23.

recipe cards. Things like stew. It brings home - another way of

:58:24.:58:27.

digesting information about cultures attacked in genocide. There are

:58:28.:58:31.

other recipes from cad bode ya and Bosnia. Culture is transmitted

:58:32.:58:38.

subtly. When there is no grandparents culinary tradition and

:58:39.:58:42.

memory dies. All communities must learn lessons and be vigilant

:58:43.:58:46.

against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobiaened a all forms of

:58:47.:58:50.

hatred in the contemporary world. Following the verdict of the EU

:58:51.:58:55.

referendum and events across the Atlantic, prejudice and racism are

:58:56.:59:00.

in danger of becoming acceptable and that holders of these abhorrent

:59:01.:59:05.

views might in some way feel disinhibited from expressing them.

:59:06.:59:08.

Holocaust Memorial Day this year has renewed significance. We live in a

:59:09.:59:13.

time of post-truth politics and fake news. People have mentioned the film

:59:14.:59:17.

Denial, I had the opportunity to see it earlier in the week on the trial

:59:18.:59:23.

of the Nazi David Irvine against the American academic, Deborah Lipstadt.

:59:24.:59:28.

I warmly recommend that as a fact packed treatment of the downfall of

:59:29.:59:33.

the UK's most notorious rewriter of history. It's frightening to hear he

:59:34.:59:38.

is making a resurgence, people have said. I think these views are

:59:39.:59:41.

ridiculous as people who think the earth is flat. We need to call them

:59:42.:59:50.

out. I attempted my first ever rabbi Friday night meal at the end of last

:59:51.:59:56.

year at Ealing Liberal Synagogue. The guard on the door served as a

:59:57.:00:00.

reminder that all communities deserve to worship in safety and

:00:01.:00:06.

that is obviously not the case. I would say it's deplorable that

:00:07.:00:10.

mosques in the UK have pigs heads left on their doorsteps. We hear of

:00:11.:00:17.

the desecration of Jewish graveyards in Europe. It does feel a bit like

:00:18.:00:25.

hate-fuelled political rhetoric has seen something of a resurgence.

:00:26.:00:29.

Ditto the scapegoating and vilification of migrants and

:00:30.:00:37.

refugees. We have earnest Simon who addressed us last year. He told us

:00:38.:00:42.

of his train trip into the unknown as a child in 1939 from Austria. The

:00:43.:00:49.

fist question was whether we should take Syrian refugee. He answer was

:00:50.:00:53.

an emphatic - of course, we have a moral duty. All these debates

:00:54.:01:01.

resonate with contemporary debates. We met with a cross-party delegation

:01:02.:01:06.

of visiting MPs from Poland this week. They voiced concern about the

:01:07.:01:12.

rising tide of hate crime. We reashursd them with have strong tie

:01:13.:01:15.

that is bind between the nations. They asked me if I had been to

:01:16.:01:20.

Poland. It wasn't a straight-forward, yes, yes we flew

:01:21.:01:33.

into Krakow. We need to make sure that we never witness it again

:01:34.:01:43.

anywhere. Madame Deputy Speaker. The diversity of my constituency is one

:01:44.:01:47.

of the reasons why it's the best one in the whole world. Strength of many

:01:48.:01:53.

communities. I have constituents of all faiths and none, multiple

:01:54.:01:56.

churches. We have a liberal synagogue and a reform one. I'm

:01:57.:02:02.

proud that next Friday we will have our annual remembrance to mark

:02:03.:02:04.

Holocaust Memorial Day it's become an established event on this the

:02:05.:02:10.

calendar, as has this debate. The much looked forward to parliamentary

:02:11.:02:16.

fixture. We should mark this shameful period in history and

:02:17.:02:21.

origin sides and never forget the Holocaust and ensure that such

:02:22.:02:28.

events occur never again. Thank you. It's always a great privilege to

:02:29.:02:31.

have an opportunity to speak in this debate. I want to add my thanks to

:02:32.:02:37.

the amazing Holocaust Educational Trust for their much needed and

:02:38.:02:41.

excellent work. Again in order to keep memories alive, but also to

:02:42.:02:46.

remind us of what our future might hold if we choose to ignore the

:02:47.:02:53.

plight of those in trouble in our world. The theme for Holocaust

:02:54.:03:00.

Memorial Day is a question - how can life go on. Given what we heard

:03:01.:03:05.

today and past debates, the force of that question is palpable.

:03:06.:03:10.

Personally, I cannot imagine how I could go on in a situation, even a

:03:11.:03:16.

fraction as bleak as those faced by so-so many Jewish people and others

:03:17.:03:22.

during the Nazi genocide. For many survivors almost everything that

:03:23.:03:26.

anchored them was lost. The loving family connections that had given

:03:27.:03:30.

shape to their entire lives. The familiar places and supportive

:03:31.:03:32.

communities that may have been all they ever knew. Frankly, their sense

:03:33.:03:39.

of our world as a potential home for them. All of it. Gone. On top of

:03:40.:03:45.

this, the sources of love and security had been taken away by an

:03:46.:03:52.

unprecedented, unrelenting wave of organised arbitrary hatred.

:03:53.:03:58.

Reflecting on this, I want to draw attention to testimony of one

:03:59.:04:00.

survivor in particular. That is an artist Alicia. Her

:04:01.:04:24.

paintings are in a booklet. It's a testament to a remarkable and tall

:04:25.:04:31.

epted woman. The German army took control when she was only 13 years

:04:32.:04:35.

old. They forced the Jewish population into a ghetto. Her family

:04:36.:04:40.

was separated. Her beloved older brother disappeared without trace at

:04:41.:04:44.

the age of 18 after being taken to to another camp. He was one of the

:04:45.:04:49.

first to be taken in that area. During this time, she, 13 years old,

:04:50.:05:01.

laboured for the gee it el -- under the threat of death. "At one time I

:05:02.:05:06.

worked as a cleaner, he shot people in the wood with machine guns. About

:05:07.:05:12.

2,000 at a time. He used to drink before hand and once he said to me,

:05:13.:05:17.

"you are very nice. I will never kill you with the others." He showed

:05:18.:05:22.

me a beautiful flowering tree and said, "I will kill you separately

:05:23.:05:29.

and I will put you under that tree." I once painted a self portrait with

:05:30.:05:34.

that tree. I sold the picture and called it Childhood Memories, I'm

:05:35.:05:44.

certain the buyer never knew what memories they were." The entirety of

:05:45.:05:55.

her other deal, as you will realise, Alicia was only a child. After the

:05:56.:06:02.

war, Alicia met her now husband, Adam, also a survivor in western

:06:03.:06:06.

Poland. I wanted to tell his or story, too. But we don't have time

:06:07.:06:11.

in this debate. I would urge the House authorities to give us a

:06:12.:06:15.

proper, you know, long debate so we can truly talk about the stories of

:06:16.:06:20.

those people that we... That we want to. Anyway, Alicia and her husband,

:06:21.:06:27.

Adam, also a survivor in western Poland, moved to London where they

:06:28.:06:33.

have lived ever since. These events leave an mark. She paints a moving

:06:34.:06:38.

picture. Would she agree with me that we sometimes think that this

:06:39.:06:49.

stopped with the end of the war and this should not be forgotten? My

:06:50.:06:55.

friend is right. I plead for more time so we can draw out the stories

:06:56.:06:58.

and understand the lessons for us to do. After experiencing such intense

:06:59.:07:04.

horror it's understandably so difficult to go on with life in a

:07:05.:07:12.

new place, amongst strangers. Stories of Alicia and Adam's are

:07:13.:07:18.

relevant I think to how we treat today's refugee survivors those for

:07:19.:07:21.

whom the question of - how life goes on, must be so pressing. It's so

:07:22.:07:26.

important we create an environment for them that offers genuine shelter

:07:27.:07:32.

for body and mind. Genuinely raving out, not shying away when faced with

:07:33.:07:37.

the troubling past experiences and their consequences. Something that

:07:38.:07:41.

gives survivors a genuine chance to create a new life in this country.

:07:42.:07:46.

Just as Alicia and Adam remarkably had the strength to do. I'm

:07:47.:07:53.

delighted to tell the House that Alicia and Adam are with us today

:07:54.:07:58.

and nestled within their family. I hope we as a House with recommit to

:07:59.:08:06.

offering a careful and understanding hand to refugees today and tomorrow.

:08:07.:08:10.

We must never let survivors of murderous horror feel so loss and

:08:11.:08:14.

despair that might question how they might go on with life in our

:08:15.:08:15.

country. Thank you. I would like to start by

:08:16.:08:26.

thanking those who keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. Of course,

:08:27.:08:31.

soon there will be no living memory of this event. But it will have been

:08:32.:08:37.

past through to future generations. I'd like to thank in particular, as

:08:38.:08:41.

other members have done, the Holocaust Educational Trust. I, like

:08:42.:08:46.

a large number of members here, have been on a visit to

:08:47.:08:49.

Auschwitz-Birkenau and I think, for me, what struck me most about that

:08:50.:08:54.

was the industrial scale on which the camps had been planned and the

:08:55.:08:58.

degree of planning that had gone into the camps to make them as

:08:59.:09:03.

efficient as possible. I would also like to thank the Holocaust Memorial

:09:04.:09:08.

Day Trust. I would like to thank in particular Eve Gill a Holocaust

:09:09.:09:12.

survivor who I heard speak a couple of times. She speaks to a lot of

:09:13.:09:15.

schools in my area and the Surrey area more widely. To listen to her

:09:16.:09:23.

about her aspirations and ambitions as a teenager and hear how those

:09:24.:09:26.

were blown apart by the Holocaust, I think was something that I know that

:09:27.:09:29.

the pupils who have listened to her has had a real impact on them and

:09:30.:09:31.

indeed on me. Extremism and nationalism is on the

:09:32.:09:52.

march, it is an easier environment in which to whip up hatred of

:09:53.:09:59.

people, whether it is phase, races or sexuality, such as gay people in

:10:00.:10:05.

Russia. We should not think the UK is immune from this. Other members

:10:06.:10:13.

quoted the figures of a rise in 40% of hate crimes in the last three

:10:14.:10:17.

years, which is why it is essential we recall the Holocaust, out of

:10:18.:10:21.

respect of the victims and subsequent genocide. But also to

:10:22.:10:27.

debunk Holocaust deniers, as the Member for Brentwood said in his

:10:28.:10:35.

opening remarks, who since the explosion of social media have an

:10:36.:10:52.

outlet for their bile. We have seen genocides since the Holocaust. I

:10:53.:10:58.

wanted to finish by mentioning South Sudan. I think there is evidence

:10:59.:11:03.

from the chair of the commission on human rights that there is a

:11:04.:11:08.

genocide underway in South Sudan. A process of ethnic cleansing is

:11:09.:11:17.

underway in several areas. Many people have been displaced by civil

:11:18.:11:25.

war. There is a very large humanitarian crisis in terms of

:11:26.:11:29.

refugees and food, for instance. While it is essential that we do

:11:30.:11:35.

recall the Holocaust, but there are significant events taking place, we

:11:36.:11:39.

must also learn from the lessons of that and seek to apply them when we

:11:40.:11:48.

try to identify genocide that is already underway in South Sudan, and

:11:49.:11:54.

that is something that the government may seek to take action

:11:55.:11:58.

on such a critical issue is that underway in South Sudan already. I

:11:59.:12:10.

would like to start by thanking the backbench business committee and the

:12:11.:12:14.

honourable member for Hove for enabling this extremely important

:12:15.:12:18.

debate to be held in this House and across the country. I will declare

:12:19.:12:23.

an interest as the member of the all-party parliamentary group

:12:24.:12:28.

against anti-Semitism. Holocaust Memorial Day is vital. We must learn

:12:29.:12:32.

from the past and educate for the future. There can be no excuses for

:12:33.:12:38.

anti-Semitism or any form of racism or prejudice. I would like to

:12:39.:12:42.

congratulate the Holocaust educational trust and the Holocaust

:12:43.:12:50.

remembrance Alliance for the invaluable work supporting Holocaust

:12:51.:12:52.

education, remembrance and research. Their work is both nationally and

:12:53.:12:59.

internationally recognised. The House of Commons home affairs

:13:00.:13:03.

committee recently produced a comprehensive report entitled

:13:04.:13:09.

anti-Semitism in the UK. And I would urge the Minister and all parties in

:13:10.:13:12.

the House to take appropriate cognizance of this report. Genocide

:13:13.:13:21.

does not just happen out of the blue. There is a gradual process of

:13:22.:13:26.

victimisation, discrimination, hatred, of words, actions,

:13:27.:13:33.

influences and alignment. Looking the other way. This leads to

:13:34.:13:38.

psychological distancing and then dehumanisation. That is the path to

:13:39.:13:43.

genocide. I will never forget reading the diary of Anne Frank when

:13:44.:13:47.

I was at school and then later visiting her home in Amsterdam,

:13:48.:13:53.

where she and her family were heading for two Maggie years before

:13:54.:13:57.

being discovered and arrested in 1944. I recall reading of her

:13:58.:14:02.

childhood pain that she did not quite said, the lack of food, the

:14:03.:14:07.

abject fear for herself and her family. Then visiting and seeing

:14:08.:14:13.

these cramped conditions and wondering how my family could have

:14:14.:14:17.

coped if they were placed in such danger and despair. Children could

:14:18.:14:21.

not make a saint, could not go to the bathroom until the evening, lost

:14:22.:14:28.

their formal education and friends. It was impossible to go outside for

:14:29.:14:33.

fear of being shot. Such a burden on their young brains. Education and

:14:34.:14:38.

remembrance is so important because out of tragedy and suffering, Anne

:14:39.:14:46.

Frank, a 14-year-old girl, wrote some of the most inspiring words I

:14:47.:14:52.

have ever read. The theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day, is

:14:53.:14:55.

how can life go on? Anne Frank wrote, I keep my ideals because in

:14:56.:15:02.

spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart. She

:15:03.:15:06.

wrote, how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment

:15:07.:15:12.

before starting to improve the world. Whomever is happy will make

:15:13.:15:19.

others happy as well. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates that it is

:15:20.:15:24.

so important to pay tribute to all survivors and to never forget. For

:15:25.:15:28.

those who were lost and for those who experienced such traumatic

:15:29.:15:36.

circumstances. Anne Frank wrote, what is done cannot be undone. But

:15:37.:15:47.

one can prevent it happening again. Can I also paid tribute to remember

:15:48.:15:54.

for Hove, who is not in his seat. I thank him for his town, great

:15:55.:16:00.

sensitivity and insight. This year marks the anniversary of the

:16:01.:16:08.

The tragedy of the Holocaust affected so many directly and

:16:09.:16:14.

indirectly. For so many victims, to the forces who liberated them in

:16:15.:16:20.

1944 and 1945. The ripple effect casts its shadow five white. This

:16:21.:16:25.

physical and emotional trauma was shared by the victims and those who

:16:26.:16:32.

witnessed it. Even today, the scars have not healed. It raises deep and

:16:33.:16:37.

profound questions for all of us today, which is why the theme of

:16:38.:16:39.

this year's commemoration membered back -- mentioned by some any

:16:40.:16:44.

members, how can wife go on, is so important today and everyday. In the

:16:45.:16:46.

face such fundamental legal it would be human to feel a sense of

:16:47.:16:51.

hopelessness, but this team challenges this. Even in the face of

:16:52.:16:55.

unspeakable evil, we're not hopeless. This commemoration in this

:16:56.:17:01.

important debate give is as all an opportunity to find a way of coming

:17:02.:17:07.

to terms with the unthinkable. If we are to live beyond the tragedy of

:17:08.:17:10.

the Holocaust and not just survive, we must resolve today to ensure the

:17:11.:17:14.

conciliation and rebuilding take place wherever that is needed in

:17:15.:17:18.

this world. We must continue to learn from these experiences and

:17:19.:17:25.

remember taking care that our response to genocide in Cambodia is

:17:26.:17:29.

guided to make sure those who make it through the darkness can

:17:30.:17:33.

eventually emerge into the light. Most of all, if we are to guarantee

:17:34.:17:37.

life goes on, we should not try to counteract hate with more hate of

:17:38.:17:42.

our own, this week I listened -- of our own. This week I listened to the

:17:43.:17:51.

words of John Lewis, who spoke so movingly about how we must speak

:17:52.:17:54.

with love, it is a better way, he said. He went on to see the words of

:17:55.:18:01.

Martin Luther King, saying hate is too big a burden to bear. Today

:18:02.:18:07.

takes place at a time when we should be trying to learn lessons from the

:18:08.:18:11.

past. We must understand that genocide is often the evil

:18:12.:18:14.

culmination of a gradual process which begins with unchecked

:18:15.:18:18.

discrimination, racism and hatred. In the wake of Donald Trump's

:18:19.:18:25.

election victory and the Brexit vote in June, we have witnessed deeply

:18:26.:18:30.

worrying increases intolerance across western democracy. So we must

:18:31.:18:33.

be vigilant and continue to provide positive leadership. The SNP

:18:34.:18:44.

Government in Scotland has long supported the remembrance and

:18:45.:18:46.

importance of Holocaust education and the Scottish parliament will

:18:47.:18:51.

play its part in remembrance. Next Tuesday Jessica Reed and Calum

:18:52.:18:55.

Doherty, two students from Falkirk will deliver Scottish Parliament's

:18:56.:19:06.

time for reflection. They took part in the Auschwitz Project, which

:19:07.:19:12.

gives two post-16 students from every school in Scotland the

:19:13.:19:17.

opportunity to visit Auschwitz. This is supported by a grant from the

:19:18.:19:21.

Scottish Government. It has also set up a group on prejudice to engage

:19:22.:19:31.

with minority ethnic stakeholders to see what more can be done to tackle

:19:32.:19:39.

these issues. In 2016 the group set out ways to tackle this... The

:19:40.:19:46.

Holocaust did not begin with the murder of millions. It began with

:19:47.:19:51.

what we now know as hate speech, perpetuated by a small minority and

:19:52.:20:00.

tolerated by the vast majority. We cannot make the same mistakes again.

:20:01.:20:02.

this week, we must face this this week, we must face this

:20:03.:20:07.

reaction with tolerance, respect and understanding. And we can and should

:20:08.:20:12.

be very proud of the diversity of modern Scotland and the British

:20:13.:20:18.

Isles, but we must never take this for granted. We want our Jewish

:20:19.:20:21.

community to feel safe and welcome, so we condemn the anti-Semitism that

:20:22.:20:29.

is growing, and they hate seeing more recently across Europe and the

:20:30.:20:35.

Memorial Day, it is only through Memorial Day, it is only through

:20:36.:20:38.

approach that we can ensure that approach that we

:20:39.:20:39.

life will go on and that decent life will go on and that decent

:20:40.:20:45.

humanity continues to prosper in the face of

:20:46.:20:50.

As always it is good to make a contribution. First of all I would

:20:51.:20:57.

like to thank the honourable gentleman for setting the scene so

:20:58.:21:05.

well. There have been some powerful speeches from members of the House.

:21:06.:21:10.

It encapsulates the energy, passion, fears, concerns of all of us, and it

:21:11.:21:20.

has been -- they have been put in such a dignified manner. The pride

:21:21.:21:26.

in getting the opportunity to speak on this unfortunate and catastrophic

:21:27.:21:32.

event. We all know the facts, but the beer repeating. If we were to

:21:33.:21:40.

read all of the names that were so brutally murdered, it would take 384

:21:41.:21:45.

names leading names constantly day and night to go through them all.

:21:46.:21:49.

Over one whole year to read those names. That is the magnitude of the

:21:50.:21:56.

horror that took place. These facts need to be repeated to make sure

:21:57.:21:59.

there is never a repetition of event similar to this. I learned in Sunday

:22:00.:22:04.

school, I heard a verse that said we need to keep repeating

:22:05.:22:21.

lessons and hope the importance of them sink in. There is a

:22:22.:22:26.

responsibility as an elected member to learn the lesson well and do not

:22:27.:22:31.

stand ringing our hands but saying nothing. We have said much today,

:22:32.:22:42.

and it has all been well put over. It is our job to speak out for those

:22:43.:22:48.

being persecuted. I work hard for my constituents to provide quality of

:22:49.:22:49.

life. I also work under half of life. I also work under half of

:22:50.:22:52.

those who cannot ask me to help. those who cannot ask me to help.

:22:53.:23:10.

There is a responsibility that we all have, and we must take it so

:23:11.:23:11.

seriously. We have to learn an important lesson

:23:12.:23:19.

from the Holocaust of the continuation of the ideology of

:23:20.:23:20.

hatred in many communities. My interest in this matter also goes

:23:21.:23:55.

to the kinder children, and we all know the story about the children

:23:56.:23:58.

who were smuggled out of Germany, and some of them ended up in my

:23:59.:24:08.

constituency on a farm. The issues are very important. Following the

:24:09.:24:11.

outbreak of World War II, a drastic change of attitudes happened...

:24:12.:24:26.

Some of the stories that members have told. Personal stories of these

:24:27.:24:32.

very things. The escalation of violence. Quite happy to give way.

:24:33.:24:41.

Yes. Will he agree with me that we are immensely lucky that people who

:24:42.:24:45.

survived those experiences that he is just talking about, that those

:24:46.:24:48.

brave individuals are prepared to speak out about the horror they

:24:49.:24:54.

experienced, like my constituent Marla, so we can hear at first-hand

:24:55.:24:58.

what happened as a way to ensure that lessons are learnt and we can

:24:59.:25:01.

all work to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again? I thank

:25:02.:25:11.

Hercegovina for the intervention and for putting the point of view

:25:12.:25:15.

everyone spoke today has said the same thing we have to remember those

:25:16.:25:18.

people as well and what they went through. The escalation of violence

:25:19.:25:23.

did not stop until the end of the war in 1945. The Nazi built upon an

:25:24.:25:31.

area a race who eliminated any people who were classified as being

:25:32.:25:37.

inferior. They had all rights removed from them. It seems

:25:38.:25:42.

discriminative as we live in a different generation, time and race.

:25:43.:25:47.

The Nazis intensified their scheme to labour. Thousands of individuals

:25:48.:25:51.

were losing their lives due to strong leadership in Nazi Germany at

:25:52.:25:59.

that time. It sounds so far fetched it can only be a film. If only that

:26:00.:26:07.

was the case. Members have spoken of the films that recreated events of

:26:08.:26:11.

that time. It happened during the lifetime of my mother. It shouldn't

:26:12.:26:16.

happen again through the lifetime of my children and grandchildren. I

:26:17.:26:20.

wonder what I would have done, would I have stood up? You like to think

:26:21.:26:22.

you would. If the opportunity had been there, you certainly would. I

:26:23.:26:29.

hope so. I just want to quote the poem, it's a good poem. Most in this

:26:30.:26:33.

chamber will know it. It's very clear. "First they came for the

:26:34.:26:36.

socialists who Detective Inspector speak out because I wasn't a

:26:37.:26:40.

socialist. They came for the trade unionist, I didn't speak out because

:26:41.:26:44.

I wasn't a trade unionists. They came for the Jews, I didn't speak

:26:45.:26:50.

because I wasn't nt a Jew. They then came to me, no-one was left to speak

:26:51.:26:54.

to me." That illustrates the issue. As we discuss this debate in my

:26:55.:26:57.

office and the Secretary said she had been to Auschwitz she said

:26:58.:27:01.

everyone should go. Others members referred to that well in clear

:27:02.:27:04.

terms. They have been there and been changed. I believe we must be

:27:05.:27:11.

changed, we should face this or rowing lesson and in our personal

:27:12.:27:15.

lives and in this place we do all we can to stop anything that resembles

:27:16.:27:19.

this taking place. I wasn't able to stand with my Jewish Brethren at

:27:20.:27:27.

that time. We will never if for get the Holocaust and be sure that it

:27:28.:27:34.

never happens again. Thank you. It's an honour to follow the honourable

:27:35.:27:40.

member for Strangford and his excellent speech. It's an honour to

:27:41.:27:45.

be a co-sponsor of this today. I would like to thank the Holocaust

:27:46.:27:51.

Educational Trust for their help to all members and the work they do all

:27:52.:27:54.

year. I must commend everyone who has made such excellent and

:27:55.:27:57.

thought-provoking contributions to this debate. I was particularly

:27:58.:28:01.

struck by the honourable member for Hove's comments on the importance of

:28:02.:28:04.

language which I thought were particularly well made. Like him, I

:28:05.:28:10.

think it's hugely important we don't ever normalise the language of hate

:28:11.:28:15.

and always challenge it loudly and challenge those who would shamefully

:28:16.:28:21.

deny something so well-spoken about by the member from Brentwood

:28:22.:28:29.

Ongar. A member spoke about the lessons from the past and the

:28:30.:28:32.

importance of learning them. Many people until my local area will have

:28:33.:28:37.

heard these words and will focus on was said here today. I hope what is

:28:38.:28:41.

said here today is heard by people around the UK and beyond. I think

:28:42.:28:46.

it's vital and the honourable member for Ealing Central made this point,

:28:47.:28:52.

more than many times in my life, we have to be steadfast in our desire

:28:53.:28:58.

sure that the lessons of this what happens and that we

:28:59.:29:01.

sure that the lessons of this terrible stain on history are

:29:02.:29:03.

learned and understood as widely as possible. There is no place for

:29:04.:29:09.

anti-Semitism here or anywhere else. Where it exists it's our

:29:10.:29:12.

responsibility to challenge it vigorously and to challenge

:29:13.:29:20.

discrimination in all its forms. The Holocaust saw more Jewish men women

:29:21.:29:26.

and children perish in camps than the entire population of Scotland.

:29:27.:29:31.

As the honourable member for Hove said, it's an unbelievable scale of

:29:32.:29:34.

deliberate terror against ordinary people. That was because of their

:29:35.:29:40.

identity as Jews. As time passes and memories fade we cannot lose our

:29:41.:29:44.

focus on this or on making sure it can't happen again. I thought the

:29:45.:29:48.

honourable member for Enfield North was right in saying how important

:29:49.:29:51.

testimony and education are. There is no doubt of the impact upon the

:29:52.:29:55.

honourable members who have visited camps. I'm very fortunate to

:29:56.:30:00.

represent the majority of Scotland's Jewish community. I live in a

:30:01.:30:06.

vibrant, diverse people where people from all religions, backgrounds and

:30:07.:30:10.

cultures live together harmoniously. That ability to live together, to

:30:11.:30:14.

appreciate the richness of our diversity and what it brings to

:30:15.:30:20.

society, is hugely important. It was important too to the late Reverend

:30:21.:30:32.

Levy from my constituency. He survived seven Nazi concentration

:30:33.:30:36.

camps having been taken from his home in Budapest to Auschwitz, aged

:30:37.:30:40.

19. Although it was understandably very hard for him to speak about his

:30:41.:30:43.

terrible experiences, that is what he did. He made it his mission to

:30:44.:30:48.

speak to young people in particular, to make sure they understood the

:30:49.:30:53.

terrors that people had faced and the extraordinary level of cruelty

:30:54.:30:57.

inflicted upon the Jewish community and others who incurred the wrath of

:30:58.:31:06.

the Nazis. The things he experienced is beyond our comprehension in many

:31:07.:31:15.

ways. His family forced their home in 1938 after being persecuted by

:31:16.:31:20.

fascists. When we go home tonight feeling secure in our place in the

:31:21.:31:24.

world, let's reflect upon that. The Levy family was no different from

:31:25.:31:27.

the rest of us they found themselves in the eye of a hellish storm simply

:31:28.:31:33.

because they were Jewish. That followed them. He and his family

:31:34.:31:37.

were captured hitch was sent to Auschwitz which he described as, "a

:31:38.:31:41.

world of evilness beyond description." He experience his

:31:42.:31:48.

brothers being expelled to dig their own graves and sha stench tearing at

:31:49.:31:55.

his lungs. I can empathise with how he must have felt when he tried to

:31:56.:32:01.

return to normality after he was released from Belsen. He was

:32:02.:32:05.

grateful to be alive. He was beset by a lost of trust in people, in God

:32:06.:32:08.

and prayers. Who would be any different. It's a testament to his

:32:09.:32:13.

great strength of character that he did find that trust again and he

:32:14.:32:17.

dedicated his life to helping others. His belief in the light of

:32:18.:32:22.

humanity is a lesson to us us all and the strength of the human spirit

:32:23.:32:27.

and the needed to stand up and never let racism gain creedance in

:32:28.:32:30.

society. That is the sentiment it that led me to make a trip this year

:32:31.:32:33.

that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was part of my party's

:32:34.:32:38.

first official delegation to Israel and Palestine. The first place we

:32:39.:32:43.

visited, the memorial to those who died in the Holocaust. That is a

:32:44.:32:48.

quite remarkable place. The impact that it made on me, it must be the

:32:49.:32:52.

same for anyone who visits, was immence m. To see it laid out so

:32:53.:32:57.

plainly the stories of all those people, just ordinary people, like

:32:58.:33:01.

you and me, the man down the road or the woman in the office, all of them

:33:02.:33:04.

murdered so cruelly because they were different. The way that the

:33:05.:33:09.

Nazis targeted people and created hostility to those groups who didn't

:33:10.:33:14.

fit into their idea of society was particularly frightening because I

:33:15.:33:17.

could see only too well why we do need always to be ready to stand up

:33:18.:33:25.

against those who would Foster hate. It was a peaceful and

:33:26.:33:29.

thought-provoking place for all the awful story it tells. It honours the

:33:30.:33:33.

dead and remember each one of them individually as a human being. A

:33:34.:33:36.

person to be valued and acknowledged. That focus on each

:33:37.:33:41.

person as a human, one of us, can't be emphasised enough. In everything

:33:42.:33:46.

I saw I was struck by that personal nature. There were individual

:33:47.:33:50.

possessions, red shoes, there was a comb and a pair of broken glasses,

:33:51.:33:54.

painstakingly laid out in a display case. They had belonged to someone's

:33:55.:33:58.

mum and they were all that was left of her when the Nazis murdered her.

:33:59.:34:03.

The glasses had been cherished for decades by a daughter who had hidden

:34:04.:34:10.

them away during a concentration camp after her mother was taken

:34:11.:34:14.

away. She had nothing to remember her by. She felt her mother closer

:34:15.:34:18.

to her through these cherished glasses. In the Garden of

:34:19.:34:22.

Remembrance those people from around the world who stood fast against the

:34:23.:34:28.

Nazis and protected their friends and neighbours, paying their own

:34:29.:34:32.

lives. I saw the MEP roibl to Jane, as the member spoke of, the only

:34:33.:34:44.

Scottish victim. The Church of Scotland repeatedly ordered

:34:45.:34:46.

home. She refused to leave the home. She refused to leave the

:34:47.:34:50.

children. She was sent to her death. The Heritage Centre that will owe

:34:51.:34:54.

open in her hometown will be a particularly important place where

:34:55.:34:59.

people can learn what she stood for at a beacon of hope against hate.

:35:00.:35:04.

Important now as the honourable member described. With can all do

:35:05.:35:09.

thinking about Jane and how she was not prepared to leave behind those

:35:10.:35:13.

who would be persecuted simply for being different. That's a theme that

:35:14.:35:19.

the young people in my constituent demonstrate brilliantly at their

:35:20.:35:21.

Holocaust memorial events every year. The parents must be proud of

:35:22.:35:25.

their children showing maturity and insight and sharing the lessons we

:35:26.:35:31.

must learn from the Holocaust. These children from my fantastic diverse

:35:32.:35:33.

community represent the best of us. They are children from all religions

:35:34.:35:37.

and none. Some with disabilities and some without. From different

:35:38.:35:41.

cultural and ethnic backgrounds, girls and boys. Just like the

:35:42.:35:45.

children who were sent to their death. Our children do often show us

:35:46.:35:48.

the way forward. I think a number of honourable members have described

:35:49.:35:52.

that very movingly today. That is why we can never take it for granted

:35:53.:35:56.

that this can't happen again. We must all commit to speaking out

:35:57.:36:02.

whenever we see anti-Semitism, racism or hate or when we hear

:36:03.:36:08.

things we are not right. We must never be afraid to call these things

:36:09.:36:12.

out for what they are, loudly and clearly. It was described to us what

:36:13.:36:17.

can happen if we stand by and don't act. I would like to close with the

:36:18.:36:21.

words and sentiments of Jane who stood so fast against hatred and

:36:22.:36:25.

paid dearly for her principles and compassion. She said, "if these

:36:26.:36:31.

children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need

:36:32.:36:32.

me in days of darkness?" . Thank you. I have to say the tales

:36:33.:36:49.

this afternoon have been extremely moving and it just strengthens the

:36:50.:36:54.

reason why these lessons should never be forgotten. The theme of of

:36:55.:36:58.

this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is - how can life go on It's

:36:59.:37:06.

intended to promote consideration of the aftermath of the Holocaust and

:37:07.:37:13.

subsequent again sides. As has been eloquently observed many times in

:37:14.:37:19.

this place and elsewhere, the industrial mass murder of millions

:37:20.:37:26.

did not begin with the state sponsored violence and intimidation

:37:27.:37:31.

of Jews in Germany. It did not begin with the construction of camps. It

:37:32.:37:33.

began with a view that someone's began with a view that someone's

:37:34.:37:38.

racial background mapped them out as inferior. As my honourable friend

:37:39.:37:49.

for Ilford North said in this debate last year, "we should never avert

:37:50.:37:51.

our eyes from the most uncomfortable truth of all, that it's perpetrators

:37:52.:37:57.

were not unique, they were ordinary men and women carrying out acts of

:37:58.:38:01.

extraordinary evil whilst others stood by." Society can only progress

:38:02.:38:09.

when such a fact is recognised and the memory of those awful times must

:38:10.:38:18.

be shared with future generations. We must teach our future generations

:38:19.:38:34.

that they must stand up to hate and to semitism or any injustice. We

:38:35.:38:38.

have a solemn duty to remember the victims and to educate young people

:38:39.:38:46.

about the horrors that were unleashed on continental Europe less

:38:47.:38:50.

than a century ago through hate. Through the work of the Holocaust

:38:51.:38:56.

Educational Trust, children from schools and sixth forms across the

:38:57.:39:01.

country have the opportunity to visit the former concentration camp

:39:02.:39:08.

of Auschwitz. Since 1999, over 30,000 children have been able to

:39:09.:39:16.

benefit from the Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz programme and become

:39:17.:39:20.

ambassadors for the Trust. Communicating their experiences to

:39:21.:39:23.

their friends and peers. I know that students from my

:39:24.:39:36.

constituency have benefited from the opportunity and were very keen to

:39:37.:39:40.

share their experience with other young people in Blackburn. But this

:39:41.:39:47.

month will see the exhibition of the ten finalist concept designs for the

:39:48.:39:52.

National Memorial of the Holocaust to be constructive in London. We

:39:53.:39:58.

must not allow the generational memory of the Holocaust to fade and

:39:59.:40:02.

the establishment of permanent physical memories has a huge role to

:40:03.:40:16.

play in that. Many people have had the opportunity to listen to the

:40:17.:40:20.

incredible stories of Holocaust survivors and those who worked

:40:21.:40:31.

against the Nazis. The number of living Holocaust survivors decreases

:40:32.:40:35.

due to the passage of time, and sadly there will be fewer and fewer

:40:36.:40:45.

opportunities to hear the incredible stories. However, thanks to the

:40:46.:40:49.

bravery of individuals during the war, including the young lady my

:40:50.:40:55.

honourable friend spoke about, who preserved her mother's glasses, and

:40:56.:41:00.

the aftermath letters, diaries, documentations, personal belongings,

:41:01.:41:06.

are all publicly available. Recordings of survivors remain with

:41:07.:41:13.

us. Museums dedicated to the preservation of the experiences will

:41:14.:41:16.

continue to communicate our shared history with public. Historians will

:41:17.:41:28.

continue to inspire discourse we will never forget. In some circles

:41:29.:41:36.

there is a view that young people will become less interested in the

:41:37.:41:39.

subject if it becomes simply history. But this does a tremendous

:41:40.:41:46.

disservice for the empathy of the next-generation. -- to the empathy.

:41:47.:41:51.

If we think about how life can go on after the Holocaust in subsequent

:41:52.:41:56.

genocides, the role of the next-generation is even more

:41:57.:41:58.

crucial. Through establishing permanent memorials and the

:41:59.:42:03.

continuing presence of the Holocaust in schools, through the national

:42:04.:42:08.

curriculum, and the support of devolved governments, young people

:42:09.:42:14.

must be given every opportunity to engage with this difficult subject

:42:15.:42:18.

of the Holocaust and other atrocities that have happened.

:42:19.:42:26.

Dedicated and conscientious teachers of history are able to convey the

:42:27.:42:32.

gravity of the Holocaust. Young people should draw parallels with

:42:33.:42:46.

historic events. The rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the first

:42:47.:42:53.

half of 2016, an 11% increase from the same period last year shows we

:42:54.:43:01.

have more work to do in combating anti-Semitism. We must fight

:43:02.:43:04.

attitudes that cast any group is somehow less than any other, define

:43:05.:43:16.

any groups... We must work to make this the legacy of the Holocaust

:43:17.:43:21.

that the ultimate result of genocide is the rejection of the hatred at

:43:22.:43:26.

its heart. Working to bring groups of young people together to

:43:27.:43:32.

facilitate social contact to break down social and economic barriers

:43:33.:43:39.

and emphasise the common threads that run through all young people. I

:43:40.:43:46.

hope for a better life the desire to learn and the need for

:43:47.:43:53.

opportunities. How does life Carry On? By ensuring that the missing

:43:54.:43:57.

generations, those abrupt endings on family trees, are commemorated

:43:58.:44:05.

uncelebrated. By making sure that communities targeted by fascists are

:44:06.:44:09.

able to live and work freely in Britain and around the world. By

:44:10.:44:14.

instilling in young people a sense of pride in our country that does

:44:15.:44:17.

not exclude any community. Nothing can fill the void of family

:44:18.:44:34.

members who were killed but we can work with a better Britain and

:44:35.:44:39.

world, we're no group is stigmatised and discriminated against, and which

:44:40.:44:44.

prejudiced is whole heartedly rejected. We can be proud of the

:44:45.:44:48.

UK's role in establishing Holocaust Memorial Day, when we joined other

:44:49.:44:57.

countries in signing the Stockholm declaration. This year's theme, how

:44:58.:45:01.

can life go on, underlines the importance of events arranged by

:45:02.:45:05.

faith groups, schools and community organisations that take place in the

:45:06.:45:09.

days and weeks leading up to the events. For 20 years I was honoured

:45:10.:45:15.

to stand on the steps of Blackburn town Hall and pay respect and

:45:16.:45:23.

remember the atrocities of the Holocaust with Jews, Christians,

:45:24.:45:27.

Muslims, people of no religion whatsoever, as many end -- as many

:45:28.:45:34.

other religions, and I feel it is important that every area in this

:45:35.:45:38.

country recognises what our parents went through in the war, what the

:45:39.:45:46.

Jews went through, from the Nazis, and we must never, ever forget. And

:45:47.:45:50.

it is important we keep those memories alive. The role of the

:45:51.:45:56.

Holocaust educational trust will do just that. It will raise awareness

:45:57.:46:03.

in the community and the educational profession about the Holocaust and

:46:04.:46:07.

lessons that can be drawn from it. Already it does exceptional work in

:46:08.:46:11.

training teachers and equipping students to understand the attitudes

:46:12.:46:17.

that lead to the unique crime of the Holocaust. The ongoing funding of

:46:18.:46:19.

educational programmes by the government is essential. Since 2008,

:46:20.:46:27.

the government has funded the UCL Institute of education centre for

:46:28.:46:32.

Holocaust education, benefiting over 7000 teachers as of March last year.

:46:33.:46:38.

And the ongoing funding of the lessons from the Auschwitz Project

:46:39.:46:45.

which benefit so many students and members. Through them we must

:46:46.:46:52.

confront head-on Holocaust denial, distortion and liquidation. The

:46:53.:46:58.

denial of the historical reality, the deliberate effort to minimise

:46:59.:47:04.

the effect and impact of the Holocaust and the equivalence

:47:05.:47:08.

between the unique crime of the Holocaust and current events. I

:47:09.:47:14.

close by observing that the establishment of Holocaust Memorial

:47:15.:47:18.

Day and the continuing efforts of the Holocaust educational trust are

:47:19.:47:24.

invaluable. Not only in commemorating the awful crimes and

:47:25.:47:29.

ensuring its legacy is not forgotten, but in providing an

:47:30.:47:35.

example of bringing communities together and instilling values of

:47:36.:47:38.

tolerance and acceptance of young people. Thank you. It is a real

:47:39.:47:49.

privilege and honour to be responding for the first time since

:47:50.:47:54.

becoming a minister from this dispatch box to a debate. It is a

:47:55.:47:58.

real privilege for me not least because this was such a consensual

:47:59.:48:03.

debate, also because I used to be a secondary school history teacher in

:48:04.:48:06.

Yorkshire before I was elected to this place, where I delivered

:48:07.:48:12.

Holocaust education to young people. And also it is a privilege for me

:48:13.:48:16.

because of my own journey in Judaism, which has become so

:48:17.:48:19.

important to me in the last couple of years. I am grateful to

:48:20.:48:24.

honourable members for the contributions that have been made

:48:25.:48:28.

across the House. They have been thoughtful, insightful, and many of

:48:29.:48:32.

them have been moving. I also want to thank my honourable friends for

:48:33.:48:43.

securing the debate today. Many of us in our constituencies now

:48:44.:48:49.

Holocaust Memorial Day well, taking part in events. I pay tribute to

:48:50.:48:53.

events in my constituency, which is not one that has a big Jewish

:48:54.:48:58.

population, as my honourable friend pointed out, but it is a community

:48:59.:49:04.

that feels it wants to mark this day and remember the horrors of the

:49:05.:49:10.

Holocaust. I pay tribute to the council in organising an event on

:49:11.:49:16.

the same basis that happens in many other constituencies. As many other

:49:17.:49:20.

colleagues have mentioned, the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is, how

:49:21.:49:26.

can life go one? It is thoughtful and -- powerful and

:49:27.:49:32.

thought-provoking question. We have heard today many moving testimonies

:49:33.:49:39.

of people who actually prove how life can go on, and I want to

:49:40.:49:42.

reiterate those names. I tried to make notes as we have gone on

:49:43.:49:47.

because it is important to reiterate that people came to this country

:49:48.:49:50.

after the Holocaust and their lives did go one. We have heard

:49:51.:50:04.

about ten people, and I have heard some of these testimonies myself and

:50:05.:50:15.

want to pay particular to brute to a man who survived the ghetto,

:50:16.:50:18.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, he survived another camp and the death march. He

:50:19.:50:25.

came to UK in 1947. He is now married, has children and. Many

:50:26.:50:31.

members will have seen the film produced by the Holocaust trust and

:50:32.:50:36.

one of his grandchildren, which was shown here in the House of Commons

:50:37.:50:40.

not so long ago. He proves what can be achieved as life goes on, and we

:50:41.:50:44.

should thank him and all of the survivors who came to this country

:50:45.:50:48.

and continued to keep the memory of all those who perished alive as well

:50:49.:50:52.

in the work they do, going into schools and community centres and

:50:53.:50:56.

speaking about the horrors. We heard a lot mentioned about the antiques

:50:57.:51:01.

road show at the weekend. I got a message from my mum saying to watch

:51:02.:51:08.

it, so I did, and it was truly as moving as she said. So many

:51:09.:51:11.

colleagues have said won made reference to it today. These items

:51:12.:51:18.

are often the only connection people have two the lights that were so

:51:19.:51:27.

brutally murdered in the Holocaust. -- have the lights. I think the

:51:28.:51:32.

programme showed us what a story of survival this was. Despite the

:51:33.:51:38.

horrors of the past, they have gone on to make a contribution for many

:51:39.:51:49.

things, and those who just came here and got on with their ordinary

:51:50.:51:53.

lives, building a family and future for themselves. They overcame those

:51:54.:51:58.

terrible odds, and I think that is why this year's theme is all the

:51:59.:52:02.

more poignant as it is so personal and it can resonate with all of us.

:52:03.:52:08.

All of us will have experienced the loss of a loved one and wondered how

:52:09.:52:13.

life would go on. So imagine the feeling of that loss when it

:52:14.:52:16.

involves generations of your families. It is unimaginable to so

:52:17.:52:22.

many of us. Great-grandparents, grandparents, children, nieces,

:52:23.:52:25.

nephews, brothers and sisters lost. Above all that, the loss of your

:52:26.:52:31.

very way of life, your home, the way you lived, the community you grew up

:52:32.:52:36.

in, a place that has gone and will never be again. They think it is so

:52:37.:52:41.

difficult for so many of us to imagine. And we can all look at

:52:42.:52:45.

those black and white photo albums and pictures of loved ones and think

:52:46.:52:53.

of them, but I can imagine looking at those same pictures and realising

:52:54.:53:01.

everyone in those photographs apart from you had perished in a death

:53:02.:53:06.

camp, or in more recent conflicts that could have been in the killing

:53:07.:53:19.

fields of Cambodia, or a -- Rwanda. On the programme last week we also

:53:20.:53:23.

saw stories of strength and renewal, with new lights and memories. That

:53:24.:53:28.

is why Holocaust Memorial Day is not just about commemorating past

:53:29.:53:31.

genocides and honouring those who died, but also about standing with

:53:32.:53:35.

those who survived and the new lights they have built. As many

:53:36.:53:41.

members have said, it is also about standing up against intolerance and

:53:42.:53:46.

hatred in whatever form that may be. For most of us, today, standing up

:53:47.:53:52.

against intolerance does not require the same risks for those who stood

:53:53.:54:02.

up against the Nazis or Pol Pot ordered journalist sentenced for

:54:03.:54:10.

spreading propaganda that led to the deaths of thousands of people from

:54:11.:54:18.

Rwanda. Standing up against intolerance does not require

:54:19.:54:26.

imprisonment, staring down the barrel of a gun, thinking someone is

:54:27.:54:29.

going to round up your family in the middle of the night, but it requires

:54:30.:54:33.

us to speak out and stand firm because we all know that evil

:54:34.:54:39.

flourishes when good people stand idly by. It requires as in the

:54:40.:54:45.

context of the Holocaust to bear witness, and that is something we

:54:46.:54:49.

hear all the time, we must bear witness. Also, not to trivialise the

:54:50.:54:56.

Holocaust. We have to recognise the peculiarly and unique evil of the

:54:57.:55:02.

Holocaust, so we must bear witness to it. There are many ways I have

:55:03.:55:05.

done that, and so many ways colleagues here have. Ed Cowan for

:55:06.:55:14.

many different ways. -- it can form many different things. I visited

:55:15.:55:18.

Jerusalem a number of times. Anyone who has been there is very touched

:55:19.:55:28.

by Howlett is put together. I think the powerful thing for me which

:55:29.:55:31.

really touched me was when you leave, having seen all the horror,

:55:32.:55:36.

you go slightly up an incline to a platform, balcony, which overlooks

:55:37.:55:42.

what Matt -- must be the most peaceful part of Jerusalem, with

:55:43.:55:49.

trees I thought it symbolised the hope of people who survived the

:55:50.:55:54.

Holocaust and I thought how is so sad that people who were murdered in

:55:55.:55:57.

the Holocaust will never know the peace and tranquillity of the new

:55:58.:56:00.

life it represents. Closer to home here in London, I'm

:56:01.:56:09.

proud to attend Westminster Synagogue there are scrolls, as many

:56:10.:56:13.

of which are around the world in synagogues and being used in prayer

:56:14.:56:19.

today. Many of those are still here in the museum. It's well worth a

:56:20.:56:23.

visit. Each of those scrolls represents a community that does not

:56:24.:56:29.

exist any more. Hundreds of years of Jewish history in Eastern Europe

:56:30.:56:33.

wiped out. Of course, so many of us today have mentioned how we have

:56:34.:56:37.

borne witness at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Like many others I took the

:56:38.:56:42.

opportunity to visit with the Holocaust Educational Trust and 200

:56:43.:56:48.

post-16 students from across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

:56:49.:56:51.

I'd never been to Auschwitz-Birkenau before despite teaching and

:56:52.:56:56.

delivering education on the Holocaust in schools. I have never

:56:57.:57:01.

taken the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau to pay respect to

:57:02.:57:06.

those murdered by the Nazis and fully understand the scale of that

:57:07.:57:10.

killing operation. I found the experience incredibly moving. The

:57:11.:57:13.

place I found most moving was the Jewish cemetery in the nearby local

:57:14.:57:20.

town where the Nazis took the headstones from that cemetery and

:57:21.:57:26.

used them on roads and on pavements. Those headstones, many were

:57:27.:57:30.

recovered. They are looked after by the Jewish community from Krakow.

:57:31.:57:34.

They are not looked after by the Jewish community in that town, that

:57:35.:57:39.

community doesn't exist any more. The saddest thing about that

:57:40.:57:42.

cemetery is the one burial that has taken place there of the single Jew

:57:43.:57:47.

who almost in an act of deviance came back and lived in that town

:57:48.:57:53.

following the end of the war. What I found most difficult about visiting

:57:54.:57:58.

Auschwitz, at the time of the year it went, it was a warm spring day.

:57:59.:58:04.

Other colleagues made reference to how they were in winter at minus

:58:05.:58:09.

five and minus ten degrees. On a spring day it was difficult to

:58:10.:58:13.

understand how horror should have taken place in that setting with the

:58:14.:58:17.

trees and the woodland around it. It defied belief. As so many colleagues

:58:18.:58:21.

have again said today, you hear the stories, you do the readings, you

:58:22.:58:25.

hear the poems and see for yourself the true horror of what took place

:58:26.:58:30.

there. As I said, I used to teach and deliver Holocaust education to

:58:31.:58:34.

young people in Hull. I absolutely recognise and agree with all of the

:58:35.:58:37.

sentiments made across the House today about how we must always

:58:38.:58:43.

ensure that across all of these islands our Holocaust education

:58:44.:58:46.

remains. I used to find with the young people I deliver to, it denial

:58:47.:58:52.

wasn't the problem, disbelief was the problem. Actually, as we would

:58:53.:58:57.

show and use the photographs and footage of the Holocaust, I found

:58:58.:59:02.

young people would be silent, some of them would be moved to tears at

:59:03.:59:06.

just believing this had actually ever happened and that human beings

:59:07.:59:15.

could be so cruel. One particular piece of film I used to use was the

:59:16.:59:22.

scene in Schindler's List. There is a debate about using Hollywood

:59:23.:59:27.

movies in Holocaust education, but actually the liquidation of the

:59:28.:59:32.

ghetto in that is so powerful that I used to use that and young people

:59:33.:59:35.

used to be stunned into silence at believing this could have happened.

:59:36.:59:39.

That is why visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau help ensure that

:59:40.:59:43.

the Holocaust is never forgotten. Why all of us in here should do all

:59:44.:59:47.

we can to ensure that Holocaust ed is at the heart of our curriculum in

:59:48.:59:51.

this country and across the word, indeed. I want to thank all of the

:59:52.:59:57.

various Holocaust organisations who are involved. We had a lot of

:59:58.:00:01.

mention of them today. I'm going to add to them again. I want to thank

:00:02.:00:08.

you Karen Pollock, the CEO of the Holocaust Educational Trust, who

:00:09.:00:10.

along with her team is an inspiration for us a us all. I've

:00:11.:00:15.

sat down with Karen and young people both in Auschwitz-Birkenau on the

:00:16.:00:19.

visit and in Tel Aviv in Israel and the work that the Trust does is

:00:20.:00:27.

absolutely fantastic. I pay tribute to their campaigning in ensuring

:00:28.:00:33.

that the Holocaust is a part of the National Curriculum and particularly

:00:34.:00:37.

their advocacy of ensuring it's at the latest stages of Key Stage 3

:00:38.:00:40.

that is important that it's taught and delivered to young people who

:00:41.:00:44.

are emotionally developed enough to be able to understand the full

:00:45.:00:48.

horror of it all. I want to pay tribute to the work of the Holocaust

:00:49.:00:58.

Memorial Day Trust and their CEO who delivered the most successful

:00:59.:01:00.

Holocaust Memorial Day last year. I would like to mention some of the

:01:01.:01:05.

other Holocaust remembrance education and survival

:01:06.:01:07.

organisations. Other colleagues have today. Whether it's the Holocaust

:01:08.:01:13.

Survivor Centre, which my friend spoke about. The Anne Frank Trust

:01:14.:01:20.

which uses her diary and the honourable lady for East Kilbride

:01:21.:01:28.

made reference to her visit to Anne Frank's house. The Association of

:01:29.:01:34.

Jewish Refugees and the National Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire

:01:35.:01:38.

and the businesses in this country who are also playing their part in

:01:39.:01:40.

ensuring they mark Holocaust Memorial Day. I met The Royal Bank

:01:41.:01:45.

of Scotland yes who informed of the work they are doing through their

:01:46.:01:51.

Jewish Society and encouraging their employees on Holocaust Memorial Day

:01:52.:01:54.

to take out and reflect. It would be remiss of me not to mention the work

:01:55.:02:02.

of the Prime Minister's Post Holocaust Issues Envoy, Sir Eric

:02:03.:02:10.

Pickles who spoke with regard to his visit to Treblinka and his comments

:02:11.:02:16.

in regards to Holocaust denial. Sir Eric focused on the restitution of

:02:17.:02:19.

property and art and has been the driving force behind the

:02:20.:02:23.

Government's adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance

:02:24.:02:27.

Alliance working on the definition of anti-Semitism. The definition,

:02:28.:02:33.

although not legally binding, is an important tool for criminal agency

:02:34.:02:40.

and other bodies to understand how anti-Semitism manifested itself in

:02:41.:02:44.

the 21st century. It's important we recognise this definition and the

:02:45.:02:49.

honourable lady for Liverpool Riverside, we cannot deny there is

:02:50.:02:52.

an increase in anti-Semitism across the country and across Europe. I

:02:53.:02:58.

served previously on the All Party Parliamentary Group for

:02:59.:03:02.

Anti-Semitism and visited a Jewish school in Brussels and was frankly

:03:03.:03:08.

shocked that there was, outside that school, Belgian armed forces guiding

:03:09.:03:13.

those young people and speaking to those people inside I said - would

:03:14.:03:19.

you wear your kapa outside in Brussels. He they laughed. The home

:03:20.:03:25.

of the European Union, a liberal, open minded place, Jewish children

:03:26.:03:31.

were not prepared to walkabout with their kapa on outis side because of

:03:32.:03:36.

the risk of attack and abuse. Of course, we have seen that on

:03:37.:03:41.

campuses here, sadly. We have seen swastikas appear. We have seen

:03:42.:03:46.

meetings organised by the Israeli Society or Jewish societies on camp

:03:47.:03:50.

bus disrupted. That is not acceptable. We cannot be silent on.

:03:51.:03:53.

That something else we have to address. The right honourable member

:03:54.:03:57.

for Gordon was right to say Holocaust Memorial Day and

:03:58.:04:01.

remembering the Holocaust must be something which, RAADless of your

:04:02.:04:06.

view in the Middle East, whether you regard yourself pro-Palestinian or

:04:07.:04:10.

pr-Israeli we must acknowledge. There is unfortunately there is an

:04:11.:04:17.

increased Israeli vie case using Israel and Zionism as a proxy for

:04:18.:04:21.

Jews. I have been on the receiving end of this, when on Twitter in

:04:22.:04:25.

particular, you see pictures of the Star of David represented as the

:04:26.:04:29.

Nazi flag. That is not acceptable. It's a form of anti-Semitism. It was

:04:30.:04:38.

wonderful seeing Lawrence Reece who produced the Nazis A warning From

:04:39.:04:45.

History destroy the arguments of those who make statements today that

:04:46.:04:51.

Hitler was a Zionist and such like. We have seen too much of that in

:04:52.:04:57.

that debate. It is ignorant and it is sinister and we should call it

:04:58.:05:03.

out for what it is. It is anti-Semitic. As is attending a

:05:04.:05:07.

rally and holding a flag of Hamas or Hezbollah. That is an anti-Semitic

:05:08.:05:15.

act. Le we should be proud of what we have done in this country in

:05:16.:05:19.

terms of tackling anti-Semitism and the work on the UK Holocaust

:05:20.:05:24.

Memorial. I want to give the honourable gentleman from Hove time

:05:25.:05:30.

to sum up. I will just end with a quote with a quote. It epitomises

:05:31.:05:34.

Holocaust Memorial Day's theme on how life can go on,". He returned to

:05:35.:05:39.

Poland a Denning decade ago. He said. I went to Auschwitz after

:05:40.:05:46.

being nagged my children. He described being under the sign at

:05:47.:05:49.

the entrance. It meant nothing to me. I stood under the sign and said

:05:50.:05:53.

- after all that Hitler tried to do. He didn't suck sees for I am still

:05:54.:05:58.

here. Life can go on, but only if we all have the responsibility and we

:05:59.:06:02.

all have the responsibility of reconciliation, rebuilding lives and

:06:03.:06:06.

communities and preventing such events from ever happening again by

:06:07.:06:15.

calling out intolerance where ever it might be. It's the first time in

:06:16.:06:19.

my short time in the Commons where I agree with every single word spoken

:06:20.:06:22.

from all sides of the House. It was a privilege to be here for it. I

:06:23.:06:28.

would like to single out a couple of members who spoke. The member for

:06:29.:06:33.

Brentwood and onar and Liverpool and Riverside. Spoke with determination

:06:34.:06:38.

to confront Holocaust denial where they see it and educate us as to the

:06:39.:06:45.

pathways towards it. The member for Bexhill and Battle went on the

:06:46.:06:49.

journey with me on this pathway. Thank you for his contribution

:06:50.:06:57.

today. My honourable friend from Enfield brought us the testimony of

:06:58.:07:06.

survivors. The member from Gordon spoke with tremendous power and

:07:07.:07:12.

forthright analysis about the challenges of disentangling the

:07:13.:07:16.

events of the Holocaust from today's events in the Middle East. Something

:07:17.:07:22.

people stumble into naively. The two are separate issues that need our

:07:23.:07:26.

intellectual inquiry in two separate ways. I thank him for that. The

:07:27.:07:31.

chamber here I've discovered thrives on difference and often conflict. I

:07:32.:07:35.

hope that today we have seen that there is strength in this place

:07:36.:07:43.

through consensus. I hope that the strength that comes from this

:07:44.:07:46.

consensus is not one where we agree consensus is not one where we agree

:07:47.:07:47.

to walk away benignly, but we go to walk away benignly, but we go

:07:48.:07:50.

away with consensus that drives us with steely determination to make

:07:51.:07:52.

sure that the events of the Holocaust and the issues we

:07:53.:07:56.

discussed here today are driven here from the House of Commons to our own

:07:57.:08:01.

communities and down into the fabric of our communities so lessons are

:08:02.:08:03.

learnt time and time again. Thank you.

:08:04.:08:07.

The question is. That this House has considered Holocaust Memorial Day.

:08:08.:08:17.

As many of that opinion say aye. Aye. The ayes have it, the ayes have

:08:18.:08:26.

it. I beg to move this House do now adjourn. The question is, that this

:08:27.:08:32.

House do now adjourn. Patricia Gibson. Here, here.

:08:33.:08:38.

Thank you Madame Deputy Speaker. This evening's debate could not be

:08:39.:08:44.

more important to the good people of Ayrshire. As everybody at home can

:08:45.:08:48.

see and everybody in the cham can see it's important to MPs across

:08:49.:08:51.

Scotland who turned out to show their support for the Ayrshire

:08:52.:08:56.

Growth Deal. The Ayrshire Growth Deal is of huge importance to

:08:57.:09:01.

reenergising the economy of the whole country of Ayrshire. The part

:09:02.:09:07.

of Ayrshire I represent, indeed the entirety of the Ayrshire county has

:09:08.:09:10.

breath takingly natural beauty in parts. However, no-one would deny

:09:11.:09:15.

that it also has its own challenges to meet.

:09:16.:09:18.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons including (estimated timings): 1130-1415 Backbench Business debates on the situation in Kashmir; 1415-1700 Backbench Business debate marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS