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Ahead of Kashmir debate by UK MPs, LS Speaker says 'Respect sovereign mandate of other Parliaments'

Birla's remarks came hours ahead of a debate on "political situation in Kashmir", scheduled in the UK Parliament on January 13. A day earlier, the UK MPs had discussed the topic of "persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India."

January 13, 2021 / 09:52 PM IST
File image of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla | (Photo Credits: PTI)

File image of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, during his virtual meeting with European Union Parliament counterpart David Sassoli, stressed that all sovereign Parliaments must be respected.

Birla's remarks came hours ahead of a debate on "political situation in Kashmir", scheduled in the UK Parliament on January 13. A day earlier, the UK MPs had discussed the topic of "persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India."

The Speaker, in his interaction with Sassoli, said the exchange of views among legislatures across the world should be welcomed. He, however, underlined that the mandate of any Parliament cannot be undermined.

"All Parliaments should respect the sovereign mandate of other Parliaments,” Birla was reported as saying.

The Indian High Commission also expressed apprehensions over the debates held in the UK Parliament.

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Reacting strongly to the discussions over Indian minorities and the situation in Kashmir, the High Commission said "debates are purposeful when they are based on facts and a thorough and accurate perception of issues."

"We reiterate our invitation to the MPs of the UK to consult with the High Commission anytime on all India related issues of interest to them in order to have up-to-date authentic and factual information about India including on issues that may be of concern to them and their constituents," the statement further added.

The High Commission also noted that the "domestic issues of India" which were being taken up for discussion by the UK Parliament are being effectively "addressed by India's pluralistic society through robust democratic institutions."

The Indian Parliament had, in August 2019, ratified the government's decision to abrogate Article 370 - the law that granted semi-autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir. Since then, a section of lawmakers in the EU Parliament as well the UK House of Commons have called for debates on the "ongoing situation" in the Valley.

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