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November 17, 2019

Labour told not to be blackmailed by BJP, RSS on Kashmir


November 17, 2019

LONDON: The Jammu & Kashmir Human Rights Council (JKHRC) has called on Ian Lavery MP, Chairman of the Labour Party, not to be blackmailed by the Bharitya Janta Party’s affiliates in the UK trying to interfere in the UK’s general elections next month on sectarian and communal basis.

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani, president of the JKHRC, wrote to the Labour Chair after the Indian government was accused of interfering in UK elections through the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) which is campaigning to unseat at least 50 Labour MPs in retaliation of the emergency motion on Kashmir passed at this year’s Labour Party conference”. The Labour chair then wrote to the Indian organisations on November 11, 2019.

He said Kashmiris respect the views of Indian diaspora on the question of good community relations, but it has to be in equity and not at the cost of a political blackmail.

He wrote: “It is unfortunate that these groups of Indian diaspora, should act to further the Hindutva programme of the RSS and misrepresent the situation in Kashmir. Their concern for ‘community harmony’ is a camouflage and you should consider to examine the merits of their sinister dig at the Labour Party. In fact, the letter is an offence to ‘community harmony’ and people like us who work for the promotion and protection of human rights, find the misrepresentation on Kashmir very offensive.”

Gilani added: “India has re-aggressed, occupied and imprisoned our brothers, sisters and elderly on 5 August 2019. Indian army is in violation of 4 bilateral and 3 UN restraints placed on their number, behaviour and location. Over 900,000 Indian soldiers are engaged in a war with the people of Kashmir, known to UN for the last 72 years and described as, ‘…the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are worthy of the right of their own self-determination through a free, secure and impartial plebiscite. They are a people of legend, song and story, associated with snow-capped mountains, beautiful valleys and life giving waters.’”

The JKHRC president added: “I join all other British voters of Kashmiri, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Indian origin, and the broad constituency of voters from other countries, who sympathise with the sufferings of the people of Kashmir and have testified in the British Parliament, European Parliament, US Congress, in wishing Labour Party, the best in the December Elections. Kindly continue to keep the traditions as an ‘internationalist party and defend the dignity of the stand taken by Clement Attlee and British government on Kashmir.”

The letter to the Labour Chair has been copied also to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour leader; High Commissioner for Human Rights – Palais des Nations, Geneva; High Commissioner of Pakistan, London; and UK’s Electoral Commission.

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