The Pakistan government has reportedly spent PKR 30 lakh on members of a British parliamentary group, which visited the country and the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) region between February 18-22 this year. The said group was led by Debbie Abrahams and it sought ‘justice’ for the people of Kashmir. Abrahams was reportedly denied a visa to India due to her expired e-visa. She had been a vocal opponent of the abrogation of Article 370 in the past.
As per the report, the register of All-Party Parliamentary groups on Kashmir (APPGK) had received monetary benefit amounting between £31,501 and £33000 from the Pakistan government during the members’ visit to Pakistan and PoK in February. Reportedly, the ‘benefit in kind’ was received on February 18, 2020.
All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) are bound to declare benefits that are worth more than £1500 pounds in its register. The members of APPGK who visited Pakistan and PoK comprised of MPs and politicians across party lines. As per AsianLite report, some of the members of the group were of Pakistani descent. Their objective was to support the right to self-determination of Kashmiris and seek justice for the so-called ‘human rights abuses’ in Kashmir.
Funding by Pakistan government in 2018
Reportedly, the British Parliamentary group had also received similar monetary benefits from the Pakistani government in the past. On September 17, 2018, the Pakistan High Commission in London paid around £12,000 to the APPGK for a trip to Pakistan and PoK between September 17-20 in that year.
APPGK recently held meeting on Kashmir
On July 15, APPGK has recently held a video conference meeting with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and discussed the topic of Kashmir. According to MP Tan Dhesi who was present in the said meeting, concerns were raised by him regarding the escalated tension in the Kashmir region between India, China and Pakistan. He also recommended the re-opening of Kartarpur Sahib, ‘protection’ of human rights in Kashmir, and freeing democratically elected leaders.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon tweeted, “Good discussion with Debbie Abrahams and colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir. I reinforced the need for all actors to protect and uphold human rights. UK continues to encourage efforts to bring economic development to the region.”
Good discussion with @Debbie_abrahams and colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir. I reinforced the need for all actors to protect and uphold human rights. UK continues to encourage efforts to bring economic development to the region pic.twitter.com/AeXfUgn4rQ— Lord (Tariq)Ahmad of Wimbledon (@tariqahmadbt) July 15, 2020
Debbie Abrahams has connections with the ISI
Earlier, the intelligence agencies had revealed that the Debbie Abrahams was in contact with an ISI conduit Raja Najabat Hussain, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Self Determination Movement International (JKSDMI). The agencies suspect JKSDMI to be an ISI-funded organisation. The revelation came after Debbie was deported after arriving in India as her visa was already cancelled by Indian authorities. According to the intelligence agencies, Hussain was in touch with Debbie on several occasions and the Pakistani spy agency has been financially supporting activities of the APPGK.