Kashmir Indepth

Will always speak up for Kashmiris living on both sides of LoC, says British MP

Srinagar: British lawmaker who was denied entry by Indian officials on Monday has said she is PRO Human Rights and social justice and that she will speak for people who are not afforded these rights.

Debbie Abrahams who chairs a parliamentary group focused on Kashmir while taking to her twitter handle wrote, “Again, for clarity, I am PRO human rights and social justice. I will always speak up for people who are not afforded these rights including Kashmiris on both sides of the line of control.”
The response from Abrahams comes amid a row over her Visa rejection.

While MHA has said that the British member of Parliament’s visa was rejected prior to her landing on Indian soil, Abrahams on the other had has maintained that she was granted visa by the authorities. She even shared a picture of approved visa on Twitter.

Meanwhile, NDTV quoting sources reported Abrahams was issued an e-Business Visa on 7th Oct 2019, valid till 5th Oct 2020 to attend business meetings.”Her e-Visa was revoked on 14 Feb 2020 on account of her indulging in activities which went against India’s national interest”

Further adding the rejection of her e business visa was intimated to her on Feb 14th 2020. “Ms.Abrahams was not in the possession of a valid visa at the time of her travel to India. e-Business Visas are meant for business meetings, can’t be used for visiting “family and friends.”

Earlier she was barred from entering after she landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, according to an accompanying aide.

Debbie Abrahams of Labour Party Member of Parliament , was unable to clear customs after her valid Indian visa was rejected, the aide, Harpreet Upal, had told The Associated Press.

Abrahams and Upal arrived at the airport on an Emirates flight from Dubai at 9 am. Upal said the immigration officials did not cite any reason for denying Abrahams entry and revoking her visa, a copy of which, valid until October 2020, was shared with the AP.

Abrahams has been a member of Parliament since 2011 and was on a two-day personal trip to India, she said in a statement.

“I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked and if I could get a ‘visa on arrival’ but no one seemed to know,” she said in the statement. “Even the person who seemed to be in charge said he didn’t know and was really sorry about what had happened. So now I am just waiting to be deported … unless the Indian Government has a change of heart. I’m prepared to let the fact that I’ve been treated like a criminal go, and I hope they will let me visit my family and friends.”

Abrahams has been an outspoken critic of the Indian government’s move last August stripping Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and demoting it from a state to a federal territory.

Shortly after the changes to Kashmir’s status were passed by India’s Parliament, Abrahams wrote a letter to India’s High Commissioner to the U.K., saying the action “betrays the trust of the people” of Kashmir.

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