India And Pakistan (Human Rights)

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th March 1994.

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Photo of Mr Bill Michie Mr Bill Michie , Sheffield, Heeley 12:00 am, 30th March 1994

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met representatives of the Indian and Pakistani Governments to discuss human rights.

Photo of Mr Mark Lennox-Boyd Mr Mark Lennox-Boyd , Morecambe and Lunesdale

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed human rights with the Indian Prime Minister during his visit to Britain earlier in the month. I last discussed human rights with the Pakistani Foreign Secretary in February.

Photo of Mr Bill Michie Mr Bill Michie , Sheffield, Heeley

Will the Secretary of State stress vigorously that the Indian Government should make public the names of those who are in detention from Kashmir and the Punjab?

Photo of Mr Mark Lennox-Boyd Mr Mark Lennox-Boyd , Morecambe and Lunesdale

I understand that a great deal of information is disclosed in that area. If the hon. Gentleman has any cases that he wishes to draw to my attention, I will of course pursue them, as they are always pursued to seek information on any special subject.

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

Is my hon. Friend aware that the most important human right is the right to stay alive, but that no terrorists should be given any quarter anywhere? Only yesterday, in Srinagar, there was a bomb blast in which several Indian army officers were killed. Does my hon. Friend agree that such mindless violence should be rigorously denounced?

Photo of Mr Mark Lennox-Boyd Mr Mark Lennox-Boyd , Morecambe and Lunesdale

The violence in Kashmir must be handled by the Indian security forces and forces for order, who are the Government of that area. We recognise that. It has to be handled properly and that is why our concern for human rights in that policing operation is expressed on every suitable occasion.