A group of 36 bipartisan MPs wrote to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab asking him to make statements with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on the impact of farmers’ demonstrations against new agricultural reforms in India on the British Punjabis.
India has described the remarks made by foreign leaders and politicians about protests by farmers as « ill-informed » and « unjustified » as they concern the internal affairs of a democratic country.
The letter, issued on Friday, was written by UK Sikh Labor MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and signed by other MPs of Indian descent, including Labor Virendra Sharma, Seema Malhotra and Valerie Vaz, and former Labor Director Jeremy Corbyn.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the department has not yet received the letter. « The police handling protests is a matter for the Indian government, » said an FCDO spokesman.
The Parliamentarians’ letter urges the Minister to arrange an urgent meeting with them to discuss the « deteriorating situation in Punjab » and to update the communications the FCDO has with the Government of India on the matter would have.
« This is a joint letter asking you to represent yourself to your Indian counterpart about the impact on British Sikhs and Punjabis with longstanding rural and agricultural ties in India, » the letter reads.
“This is a problem of particular concern to Sikhs in the UK and those associated with Punjab, although it affects other Indian states as well. Many British Sikhs and Punjabis have taken up this matter with their MPs as they are directly affected by family members and the land of ancestors in Punjab, « it says.
In response to comments from foreign leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said Tuesday, “We have seen some ill-informed comments on farmers in India. Such comments are not justified, especially if they relate to the internal affairs of a democratic country. ”
In a concise message, the ministry added: “It is also best that diplomatic talks are not misrepresented for political purposes. ”
The recent intervention by UK MPs follows Dhesi and other politicians using social media to express their support for farmers. Lord Indarjit Singh, a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, also raised the issue in the Upper House of Parliament earlier this week.
UK Cabinet Minister Responding in the House of Representatives, Lord Nicholas True, declined to address “broad denunciation” of any nation, adding: “Our values are democratic; They are very common and practiced all over the world. We want to maintain that. ”
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India, Dominic Raab, Protest, United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, MP
World News – CA – UK MPs seek ministerial intervention in peasant protests in India
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