November 1998 News

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Lord Avebury Visiting Jammu and Kashmir

21st November 1998
Kashmir Times

New Delhi: British parliamentarian and vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group Lord Eric Avebury is arriving Jammu and Kashmir this week.

Lord Avebury, a member of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Foreign Affairs team is to visit New Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu and Leh. A press release issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) has said that the British Parliamentarian started from London on Sunday.

Dr. Siraj Shah, Director of Kashmir Watch and secretary of the Friends of Kashmir is accompanying Avebury. During his stay in India, Lord Avebury will have discussions with the Union Home Minister L. K. Advani , the National Human Rights Commission Chairman, the state government, as well as representative of various political groups.

In a press release issued on eve of his departure from London, the British Parliamentarian and activist, who has gained fame due to his interest in Kashmir said: "I am delighted to have this opportunity of learning at first hand about the situation in Kashmir. The object is to meet a cross section of the people in order to have a deeper understanding of the problems which have bedevilled the relations between India and Pakistan.

We are going to listen and learn, and not to put forward solutions". Shabir Shah, President of the pro-freedom JKDFP, has welcomed Lord Eric Avebury’s visit to the state.

Shah in a statement today explained that British MPs is on visit to Jammu & Kashmir "to understand and study the problems facing the region ranging from the human rights situation to the regional instability resulting from the 50 year old Kashmir conflict."

Shah paid tribute to Lord Avebury who has been an outspoken defender of human rights in places ranging from Indonesia to Kurdish areas. Shah said that, in particular, Lord Avebury has worked consistently for almost ten years raising awareness on the terrible conditions here in Kashmir and has worked tirelessly, as Chairman of both Kashmir Watch and Friends of Kashmir, to advocate for the rights of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.


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