Lord Ahmed – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Ahmed on 2016-09-05.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether any military equipment exported from the UK to India is being used against the civilians of Kashmir.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

We are concerned to see reports of excessive violence against protesters in Kashmir.

The UK Government takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world.

In light of media reports on the situation in Indian Administered Kashmir (IaK), we have undertaken checks regarding shotguns being licensed to the Indian Security Forces (ISF) in IaK covering the last 10 years. We are confident from these checks undertaken that no such weapon has been licensed to this specific force in IaK.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant information available at the time of the application. A licence will not be issued, for any country, including India, if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the mandatory Criteria, including where we assess there is a clear risk that the items might be used to facilitate internal repression.

The Government is confident in our case by case assessment and routinely keeps factors relevant to the licensing of arms exports under active review. Ministers are consulted as necessary in the event of any significant changes in the circumstances relating to UK-licensed exports.

Our export licensing system allows us to respond quickly to changed circumstances, with the option to suspend or revoke any licence where we consider this a necessary step.