• Monday, Aug 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:29 pm

India refuses entry to British lawmaker critical of Kashmir policy

  • Published at 06:32 pm February 18th, 2020
Debbie Abrahams
Debbie Abrahams (L), the new Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, walks with her husban John (R) during a photocall in Denshaw, north-west England, on January 14, 2011 AFP

Debbie Abrahams, a member of parliament for the opposition Labour party, landed at New Delhi's international airport on Monday but claims she was unable to clear customs after her Indian visa was rejected

A British lawmaker, who chairs an all-party group on Kashmir, has been denied entry to India after she criticized the government's decision to strip the disputed region Himalayan region of its constitutional autonomy.

Debbie Abrahams, a member of parliament for the opposition Labour party, landed at New Delhi's international airport on Monday but claims she was unable to clear customs after her Indian visa was rejected.

Abrahams said she had no plans to visit Kashmir during what she called a "private visit" to India to see relatives, although she had been planning to journey on to the Pakistani capital Islamabad to discuss the issue.

She has been critical of the Indian government for revoking Kashmir's special status last August, which allowed the region to make its own laws, in an attempt to integrate the country's only Muslim-majority region more fully.

Abrahams said she was "treated like a criminal" and told to leave India before being marched on to a plane bound for Dubai.

"The immigration officer looked at his screen and started shaking his head and saying 'no, no, no'," she told Sky News.

"Then he said the visa had been rejected, took my passport, went off to consult with others, kept us waiting for about ten minutes and then said: 'No, you are being denied entry'."

There was no immediate comment from the Indian government.

Kashmir is claimed by India and arch-rival Pakistan and has been in turmoil since New Delhi removed its autonomy and enforced the changes by deploying thousands of additional troops and imposing a communication blackout.

India has since restored limited internet connectivity, ending one of the world’s longest such shutdowns in a democracy.

But many political leaders, including three former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir state, are still in detention without charge six months after the crackdown, and foreign journalists have been denied permission to visit the region.

Shortly after the changes to Kashmir's status were passed by India's parliament, Abrahams wrote a letter to India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, saying the action "betrays the trust of the people" of Kashmir. 

51
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail