New Delhi: Reacting to
the House of Commons debating alleged human rights violations in
Jammu and Kashmir, India Thursday reminded British MPs that it was
the world's largest democracy in which all 1.2 billion people
exercise their freedom as a fundamental right.
India said it has taken "due note", which means an adverse
reaction in diplomatic parlance, of the debate in the Commons.
It also explained that if there were any aberrations on the issue
of human rights, the nation had "enough, effective" mechanisms
within the democratic framework to address any grievance.
"We take due note of the proposed debate in the UK House of
Commons later today (Thursday), which we believe is an initiative
of back-bencher MPs and does not reflect the position of the UK
Government," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash
told reporters here while responding to a query.
"It also suffice to say India is a vibrant democracy, largest
democracy in the world, which fully respects the rule of law and
human rights. Civil liberties and freedoms are enshrined in the
Constitution of India as fundamental rights and are
available....not only available, but exercised by each and every
individual across the length and breadth of the country of 1.2
billion people," he said.
Meanwhile, a government source said India had enough, effective
systems within its democratic framework to address any grievance
"If there is aberration, there are enough mechanisms, effective
mechanisms within our system, our democratic framework to address
any grievance or any aberration."
The Commons has scheduled a general debate on alleged human rights
violations in Jammu and Kashmir, for which Conservative MP Steve
Baker, along with four other MPs, have given notice.
India has already conveyed to Britain that the debate "will not be
Reports suggested that Baker possibly faced pressure from roughly
6,000 constituents from Pakistani Kashmir, to take up Kashmir's
"cause" in the Commons.
Other MPs who helped Baker secure the debate -- Jason McCartney
and Andrew Griffiths, both Conservative and Denis MacShane and Nic
Dakin (both Labour) -- are also from constituencies with
numerically-strong Pakistani Kashmir voters.
Baker's notice for a debate seeks to force the British government
to raise the issue of alleged human rights violations in Kashmir
The MP had also requested a vote on the debate, but this was
rejected by House of Commons Backbench Business Committee.
The British foreign office, however, has remained silent on the
debate as yet.