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432-00017 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

We the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada

Call upon the Government of Canada to: Condemn the siege of Kashmir and appoint a fact-finding mission of MP's, journalists and human rights workers to Kashmir;

Work with the United Nations as per UNSC Resolution 47 for a resolution of the conflict in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir;

Demand compliance with international legal obligations as part of Canada's ongoing relationship with India, especially in trade, defense, and counterterrorism;

Ask the Indian Government to: Immediately end the siege and rescind laws that restrict life, liberty, justice, freedom of movement, information, assembly, press and religion;

End torture, sexual violence, disappearances, killing, maiming, and blinding and impunity for these crimes;

End preemptive imprisonment and free all political prisoners.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The Government of Canada continues to closely monitor the political and human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. More than one year after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India on August 5, 2019, many restrictions have been lifted, including the release of most individuals under preventative detention, the easing of curfews, and the partial restoration of telecommunications services. Canada remains concerned, however, by the continuing communication restrictions, ongoing preventative detentions, and the mounting economic impact, which is compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada regularly engages the Government of India on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Following the revocation of Article 370, the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke with the Minister of External Affairs of India and also issued a statement expressing Canada’s concerns regarding the risk of escalation, infringements on civil rights, and reports of detentions. During an official visit to Ottawa on December 19, 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir directly with the Minister of External Affairs of India.

Canada also engages with local stakeholders on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir. On February 12-13, 2020, Canada’s High Commissioner to India visited the Jammu and Kashmir region as part of a diplomatic delegation. During the visit, the High Commissioner met with local officials, media, and civil society representatives and discussed issues including the security situation, economic and communications restrictions, and the political process.

Canada looks forward to the restoration of normalcy and resumption of inclusive political dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir. In this regard, Canada has followed political developments, including the implementation of the Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order or “domicile law,” issued by the Government of India on March 31, 2020. Canada continues to encourage meaningful consultations with affected local communities and shares the aspiration that all communities in the region can live in peace, security and dignity.

The Government of Canada is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights at home and abroad, and will continue to follow the situation in Jammu and Kashmir closely.

Presented to the House of Commons
Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East)
September 28, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00017)
Government response tabled
November 16, 2020
Photo - Yasmin Ratansi
Don Valley East
Independent
Ontario

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