The UK Government cannot ignore moral and human rights to get post-Brexit trade deals says Liberal Democrats candidate
"We are united when it comes to standing up for the oppressed and protecting human rights. It is wonderful to see that Newcastle is united in its support for the rights of people in Kashmir to determine their own destiny," Cllr Ali Avaei, Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate for Newcastle Central told a public meeting on Kashmir at Grey's Monument in Newcastle.
"The crisis in Kashmir is probably one of the most significant international political events in recent years. It is similar to what we are seeing in Hong Kong, about one nation two systems.
People in Kashmir were promised determination of their own future whereas now the Central Government in India has decided to take this choice away unilaterally. This is a trend that we are witnessing internationally with rise of right wing and populist ideology.
"In the US we have President Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate treaty and Iran's nuclear deal.
"In Brazil we have seen regressive policies of President Bolsonaro contributing to the Climate Emergency that we are experiencing.
"In Hungary Mr Orban takes pride in modelling himself after President Trump.
"This is a an extremely dangerous path that these very powerful people are taking. Indian Prime Minister Modi and his BJP party are ignoring the basic right of people in Kashmir to determine their own future.
"A long-term peaceful resolution to the conflict is in the interest of the Indian Government, but unfortunately, we are witnessing the exact opposite. Mr Modi is pandering to his right-wing, nationalist base instead and increasing the tension in an already volatile region.
"The UK government has the legal and moral duty persuading the Indian government to change its approach, but all we are seeing instead is lack of interest from our government.
Brexit process has made our international standing weaker. It is perhaps because of this that Mr Johnsons refuses to condemn the wrongdoing of some of our world leaders whether in China, Brazil, USA or India.
"The UK Government cannot ignore moral and human rights values simply because it fears what might happen with post-Brexit trade deals. It must bear in mind that right wing leaders have never been reliable partners. As a recent example, President Trump told the UK you are on your own when it comes to the shipping crisis in the Straits of Hormuz. Not only our so-called ally the United State did not offer any help, she tried to derail UK-Iran talks.
"We need to Demand Better foreign policies and defence of human rights from our leaders. "
During the meeting a speaker made comparisons between PM Modi and Hitler. Cllr Avaei said "This is an entirely inappropriate comparison, which I reject. It is demeaning on every level and counter-productive in achieving a peaceful and just outcome to this crisis."