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United Kingdom

Keir Starmer, Expected Next UK PM, Shifted Party Policy on Kashmir

Keir Starmer, poised to become the next UK Prime Minister, faces an initial challenge in repairing Labour Party relations with India, strained by previous comments on Kashmir. Starmer led Labour to a decisive victory in the general elections, dealing a significant blow to Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party.

Historically, Labour’s position on Kashmir diverged sharply from the UK government’s stance, advocating international intervention and mediation. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in September 2019, the party passed a controversial motion urging international observers into Kashmir and supporting self-determination, drawing strong criticism from India.

Recognizing the importance of relations with India, Starmer has embarked on a mission to rectify past missteps. His manifesto emphasizes forging a “new strategic partnership” with India, focusing on trade agreements and bilateral cooperation.

During engagements with the Indian diaspora, Starmer reaffirmed that Kashmir is an internal matter for India and a bilateral issue with Pakistan. His campaign efforts included denouncing Hinduphobia and celebrating cultural festivals like Diwali and Holi to foster stronger ties with the British-Indian community.

Labour’s foreign policy under Starmer advocates “progressive realism,” aiming for pragmatic solutions to global issues such as climate change and international security. This includes plans for enhanced collaboration with India across sectors like technology, security, education, and environmental sustainability.

Labour’s electoral success, securing a majority in the House of Commons, marks a significant shift in power after 14 years of Conservative rule, with Starmer set to assume office as Prime Minister.

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