Agricultural reform is India's domestic policy issue, British government says

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 06, 2021, 03:03 PM(IST)

Britain PM Boris Johnson Photograph:( Reuters )

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The British government has reiterated its stance which is largely supportive of New Delhi

In the backdrop of farmers' protests in India, the British government has said that agricultural reform is the Indian government's domestic policy issue.

In response to a written question on Friday in the British Parliament, Nigel Adams, minister of Asia in British foreign office said, "We are aware of concerns in India and here in the UK about how these reforms might affect farming communities", pointing out, "Agricultural reform is a domestic policy issue for the Indian authorities to address."

Asked about the British government's assessment of the protests by farmers on 26 January, the British minister said, "The right to gather lawfully and demonstrate a point of view is common to all democracies. Governments also have the power to enforce law and order if a protest crosses the line into illegality..handling of protests is an internal matter for the Indian authorities."

In fact, last week saw several questions being asked by British MPs on other India-related issues, with the British government clearly reiterating its stance which is largely supportive of New Delhi.

A question was asked on China's aggressive actions towards India, to which Adams said, 'as neighbours, India and China have an important relationship with one another" and London "welcome discussions" while continuing to "support a peaceful resolution" between India and China of the border question  

China's aggressive actions in 2020, especially with India at Galwan had led to a major blow in Delhi-Bejing ties. The country's action in Hong Kong with a new law has perturbed the UK and led to sharp exchanges between London and Bejing.

In a related question, on UK government's ties with QUAD--Australia, India, Japan and US, the minister of Asia said, "No decisions have yet been made on the form UK engagement with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue could take."

Asked on Kashmir, Adams said, "The UK's position remains that it is for India and Pakistan to identify a lasting political resolution to the situation, one that takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people."

He elaborated that Kashmir was "raised" by British foreign secretary Dominic Raab during his India visit in December with his Indian counterpart External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.

On human rights issues in the union territory, Adams said, "Officials at the British High Commission in New Delhi engage regularly with human rights organizations on the situation. Any allegation of human rights abuses is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently."

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