Christian peace group calls for end to arms sales to India and Pakistan


 As tensions increase on the Kashmir border, Christian CND has appealed for the UK to stop selling arms to both sides in the conflict. A spokeswoman for the inter-church group said: "Even a conventional war would devastate Kashmir and result in the deaths of thousands of innocents. The UK would be especially culpable in these deaths, since some are likely to be inflicted with British-made weaponry. "According to scotsman.com, BAe has sold fighter jets to India and is currently training Pakistani troops in air combat." She said: "Providing aid to both sides can only increase the damage that will occur if war breaks out. "British leaders are at odds about whether they should continue to allow the sales of arms to India and Pakistan. Roger Berry, the chairman of the Commons committees investigating arms exports, said that the conflict was "as clear a case you could get" for an arms ban. "But Jack Straw continues to justify the sale to India of 66 Hawk aircraft on the basis of "British commercial interests. "It has been claimed that Tony Blair's 'peace' mission a few months ago was actually a business trip to discuss a one billion pound deal to sell Hawk fighter-bombers to India. Roughly, for the price of a single Hawk bomber, the government could provide 1.5 million people with clean drinking water for life." CCND are asking people to contact their MPs calling for an immediate weapons embargo on India and Pakistan . Find out how to contact your MP: www.locata.co.uk/commons/ Contact Jack Straw: Fax: 020 7272 2144 Mail: House of Commons, London SW1A OAA Email: strawj@parliament.uk Contact Patricia Hewitt, Dept Trade and Industry: Fax: 020 7215 5468 Mail: House of Commons, London SW1A OAA Email: npst.hewitt@dti.gsi.gov.uk * A demonstration calling for a full arms embargo will take place at Downing Street tomorrow from noon - 2pm.

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