Moral Victory for India in British Parliament’s Kashmir Debate

published on September 12, 2014

LONDON: The British government Thursday condemned terrorism and violence and rejected mediation in the dispute between India and Pakistan on Kashmir in a parliamentary debate in which pro-India speakers among the MPs overwhelmed Pakistan supporters by almost three to one.

Replying at the end of a three hour debate on the political and humanitarian situation in Kashmir, Tobias Ellwood, a junior minister in the foreign office, said: “Talks (between India and Pakistan) can only take place free from terrorism and violence.” This seemed to back the Indian position that export of jihadis by Pakistan into India must stop.

He reiterated there would be “no mediation” by Britain in respect of the differences between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

The debate did not take place in the chamber of the House of Commons, but in a committee room and under the auspices of the Backbench Business Committee. In other words, it wasn’t a part of government business and there was no vote at the end of the debate. At the same time, it had official recognition and was recorded accordingly.

Of the 18 speakers who participated, only three clearly stood up for Islamabad’s cause – the mover of the debate, David Ward, who represented a Bradford constituency where most of the voters or their families hail from Mirpur in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and two MPs of Pakistani-origin. In contrast, only two of the lawmakers who supported the Indian position were of Indian-descent.

Leading the charge for India, Barry Gardiner, a Labour Party MP, stated: “Britain would be outraged if the Indian parliament debated the merits and demerits of the Scottish referendum.” He called the debate as “ill-judged”.

Paul Uppal, a Conservative Party MP, poured scorn over “white middle-aged men lecturing India”. He reminded the house that Britain “carried imperial, historical baggage” and that it should have “more faith in the subcontinent”.

Virendra Sharma of Labour commenced by saying he was “disappointed” the debate was taking place and described it as “divisive”, stressing he is elected from a diverse constituency (Ealing Southall) where there are Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims and the debate could “inflame tensions” in his constituency. He asserted that Jammu and Kashmir state was an integral part of India.

Bob Blackman, Conservative, highlighted the issue of “ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits”, their displacement and refugee status in their own country, which, he felt, was of the highest “humanitarian” concern.

Speaker after speaker echoed this sentiment, thereby drowning out the Pakistani plea that Indian security forces were committing human rights violations against Muslim Kashmiris in Jammu and Kashmir.

Though Ward maintained that “we (Britain) have some part to play in Kashmir”, this stand was roundly rejected by a majority of his fellow MPs.

Those reflecting India’s stance on Kashmir were well prepared. Not only did they seem to have been well briefed, but had done their own home work. By comparison, the apologists for Islamabad indulged in propaganda, including questioning the legitimacy of elections in Kashmir.

About one-third of the speakers were even-handed and did not categorically take sides.

Unlike past debates on Kashmir in the British parliament, the public gallery appeared to be equally divided between Indians and Pakistanis and not predominantly the latter community. Rumblings of discontent were heard from a section of the audience every time a speaker took up cudgels for India and correspondingly clapping from another segment, which were frequent as the strength of solidarity with India was unprecedented.

Had there been a vote, the pro-India lobby would have won hands down

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Responses

  1. indian Reply

    September 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Britain new jihad breeding ground ?
    when an MP from pakistani majority area conduct a debate for kashmiree jihadis, Is it his divertional tactics to divert the pro jihadi pakistani population from the issue of Britian acting against Islamic state ?, in which pakistani’s will come out against the britishers, so simply diverting attention of pro jihadi pakistani population against india ?
    Is british Mp’s new islamic jihad supporter in new context ?
    Like the said incident of british jihadi killing american citizen in Islamic state ?
    Let us wait and see, what this pro jihadi mp’s will do more in britain supporting jihadi’s.

  2. Raj Puducode Reply

    September 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Give milk & shelter to snakes & they will bite & kill you one day
    LONDON: Radical preacher& another Paki-Jihadi Anjem Choudary is reportedly among nine arrested in London raids for encouraging terrorism on Thursday.
    Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command have arrested nine men on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed organization, supporting a proscribed organization contrary to Section 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and encouraging terrorism contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
    The men aged 22 years to 51 years were arrested in London. They have all been taken to police stations in central London and remain in custody.
    A number of residential, business or community premises are being searched as part of the investigation in London. Eleven in east London, one in west London, one in North West London and five in south London were searched on Thursday morning. One residential address is also being searched in Stoke on Trent.
    Scotland Yard said “These arrests and searches are part of an ongoing investigation into Islamist related terrorism and are not in response to any immediate public safety risk”.
    Al-Muhajiroun is understood to be the banned organization in question. The group became a proscribed Islamist organization in 2010.
    Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who were both jailed earlier this year for killing Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, were both seen at demonstrations organised by al-Muhajiroun.
    Britain last month raised its international threat level to the second-highest level of “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

  3. Raj Puducode Reply

    September 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Give milk & shelter to snakes & they will bite & kill you one day
    LONDON: Radical preacher& another Paki-Jihadi Anjem Choudary is reportedly among nine arrested in London raids for encouraging terrorism on Thursday.
    Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command have arrested nine men on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed organization, supporting a proscribed organization contrary to Section 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and encouraging terrorism contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
    The men aged 22 years to 51 years were arrested in London. They have all been taken to police stations in central London and remain in custody.
    A number of residential, business or community premises are being searched as part of the investigation in London. Eleven in east London, one in west London, one in North West London and five in south London were searched on Thursday morning. One residential address is also being searched in Stoke on Trent.
    Scotland Yard said “These arrests and searches are part of an ongoing investigation into Islamist related terrorism and are not in response to any immediate public safety risk”.
    Al-Muhajiroun is understood to be the banned organization in question. The group became a proscribed Islamist organization in 2010.
    Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who were both jailed earlier this year for killing Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, were both seen at demonstrations organised by al-Muhajiroun.
    Britain last month raised its international threat level to the second-highest level of “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

  4. Raj Puducode Reply

    September 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Mad Jihadi to destroy England & the world
    Anjem Chaudhary, the crooked, Jihadi British imam gave a television interview this week in which he defended acts of terror, including the beheading of foreign journalists, as consistent with the teachings of the Koran, Breitbart News blogger John Sexton reported.
    London-based cleric Anjem Choudhry told Russia Today that “terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam” in an interview with the English-language RT news program, “Worlds Apart.”
    Choudhry cited a passage of the Koran that calls for Muslims to use “steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah.”
    “So terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam,” Choudhry said. “I mean this is something that we must embrace and understand as far as the jurisprudence of Islam is concerned.”
    Sexton wrote that, “Chaudhary went on to say that Muslims make no distinction between civilians and armed forces since civilians elect the leaders who direct the armed forces.”
    Choudhry, also a lawyer who lectures on Sharia law, headed an Islamic group, Al Muhajiroun, which was banned in the United Kingdom.
    Two attendees of Al Muhajiroun events were arrested in the 2013 murder of a British Army veteran of the Afghanistan war, who was stabbed to death in broad daylight on a busy London street.
    Choudhry has sparred with Fox News’ Sean Hannity and CNN’s Brian Stelter in recent interviews, and even spawned an anti-Choudary Facebook page.

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