Louise calls for talks to end violence in Kashmir

Over the Summer the Kashmir conflict entered its 69th year and endured some of the worst and most protracted violence it has seen so far. 


Kashmir is essentially locked in a battle for self-determination with the Government of India.


On the 18th September 2016 there was an attack on an Indian Army base which resulted in the deaths of 19 soldiers and the four militants. No one claimed responsibility for this attack.


More recently there has been reporting of Indian Security forces using pellet guns against civilian protestors. These cartridges are filled with hundreds of iron balls and when these cartridges explode the pellets disperse in all directions and at a high velocity.


Standard Operating Procedures show that the security forces should be targeting the legs in extreme volatile conditions but it’s reported that 90% of people injured have been shot above the waist. The pellets are less lethal then bullets but can cause serious injury to people especially to the eyes.


Doctors who had been treating the wounds have said that they have dealt with over a hundred of these cases. Seven people, including a 14 year old girl have been blinded by these pellets. 40 people have been discharged with less serious injuries whereas other people have lost their sight in one eye.


Louise commented: "I, along with several colleagues from across the House of Commons, have written to the Prime Minister asking her to raise the conflict with the Indian Prime Minister when she visits to discuss trade.  It is vital that India, Pakistan and separatist leaders come together to negotiate an end to the violence and bring peace and self-determination to Kashmir.  The UK should be doing everything in its power to support this outcome".