UK minister mocked for confusing Myanmar with Kashmir
Ahead of Kashmir Solidarity Day, Afzal Khan, MP in the UK Parliament for Manchester Gorton asked if the British government will take steps to support a tribunal for victims of violence in Kashmir.
He submitted a question on Tuesday "to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will take diplomatic steps to support the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir."
However, instead of providing a response about Kashmir, Nigel Adams answered with a statement regarding the recent coup in Myanmar.
"The UK condemns the state of emergency imposed in Myanmar, and the arbitrary detention of democratically elected politicians and civil society by the military. It is essential that Aung San Suu Kyi, and all those arbitrarily detained, are released," he said confusingly.
"Under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime and the Myanmar Sanctions Regime the UK had already sanctioned 16 individuals, responsible for human rights violations in Myanmar. In July 2020, we sanctioned the Commander-in-Chief and his Deputy in our first tranche of sanctions under the Global Human Rights Sanctions regime", Adams added, continuing to reassure Khan that the UK would support democracy in Myanmar.
Khan on Friday posted a screenshot of the response, saying "Of course, it’d be helpful if the Gvt knew the difference between Kashmir & Myanmar..."
Adams, who has been Conservative MP for Selby and Aintsy since 2010, was appointed as a Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in February 2020.
He has not yet replied to a request from The New Arab for comment.
Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is observed as a national holiday in Pakistan, falls on 5 February.
Kashmir, a Muslim majority area, has been disputed by India and Pakistan since 1947 and the two countries have been to war over it three times.
India controls most of the area, while Pakistan controls the west and north. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in a conflict between Indian state forces and Kashmiri pro-Pakistan and pro-independence groups since the 1980s.
In 2019, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi annulled autonomy for Kashmir and split it into two territories, imposing a stifling curfew on the population and arresting hundreds of people.