Anti-India Labour Wants Indian Votes.


Nov 21:The Opposition Labour Party of Britain is reported to have gone back to its patently anti-India resolution on Kashmir adopted last September. It is a deception that the party had to adopt because the UK goes to polls on December 12, barely a month away, with uncertain chances of Labour party returning to power under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The so-called revised stand of the Labour Party basically avoids the contentious issue of human rights violations in Kashmir, as alleged by Pakistan. Fairness demands that the Labour Party should have also pondered over the deplorable human rights record of Pakistan before criticizing India in a resolution.

This the Labour Party will not do because the bulk of its Pakistani supporters in the UK come from the Mirpur region of Occupied Kashmir where every citizen is trained to see himself or herself as a warrior fighting to free Kashmir from ‘Hindu India’. Labour leaders in the UK who trace their origin to Pakistan or Mirpur, unlike their counterparts from India, are active round the year to spread ill-will against India.

For reasons that are not clear, India has not acted strongly against the leniency that the British authorities have shown to the large India-baiting sections, even going to the extent of looking the other way when they indulge in violence. In India, even a small anti-British demonstration will be stopped well ahead of the high commission in Delhi. In London, the Pakistani ruffians, joined by Khalistanis, station themselves right in front of the Indian High Commission.

The controversial Labour resolution of September was in all likelihood triggered by the efforts of hyper active British citizens of Pakistani origin, including Labour Party members, who probably share anti-India venom in their minds with the natives of Pakistan. On the instructions from the Rawalpindi-Islamabad military-civilian establishment, these sections have gone on an overdrive to do all they can to denigrate India and mobilise opinion against the Indian government’s twin decisions – one to remove Article 370, which remained as a temporary provision of Indian Constitution for more than seven decades, and two to reorganize the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

But the way the British government and the Labour Party went about with their anti- India reaction brings up the question: Will they cheerfully acknowledge adverse comments made by the Indian government or the ruling party against internal matters of Britain? Without going into details of these ‘internal issues’ of the UK that evoke interest in India, one might mention the long practice in that country to play host to fugitives, terrorists, secessionists and criminals from India, nd many other countries.

Traditionally, the Labour Party, considered a Left of the Centre party, has drawn more support among the Indian community than the rival right-wing Conservatives, the present rulers. But in recent years the Indian community has begun to feel that despite drawing their overwhelming support, the Labour Party has moved closer to defending Pakistani interests.

A large section of British citizens of Indian origin may well have decided to shift loyalty to the Tories after reassessing their old ties with the Labour Party. Though British Indians, or more specifically Hindus, are outnumbered one-to-three by Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and other counties, the Labour Party may be jolted into taking note of voters of Indian origin.

It is a different matter that even the ruling Conservatives have not shown much regard for Indian sensibilities and allowed Pakistani hooligans and their supporters in the UK to stage violent protests against India in London and other cities. These ruffians have chosen the Indian Independence Day and the religious festival of Diwali to display their bawdiness. They are brought from different parts of the country by sponsors who no doubt receive ample funds from Pakistani authorities. For Indians the inability or the refusal of the authorities in Britain to prevent attacks by Pakistani thugs has been like a shocking display of partisanship.

The Mayor of London happens to be of Pakistani origin and his belated expression of regrets over the incident outside the Indian High Commission appears to be an after-thought. Till some time ago, the equivalent of Home Minister in Britain was also of Pakistani origin and that had made Pakistan very happy.

While those holding senior positions might be restrained from actively participating in anti-India pursuits, Pakistani-origin members of the British lower and upper houses feel no such compulsions. Irrespective of their party affiliation, these MPs and Lords regularly participate in anti-India programmes and make fiery speeches against India without being pulled up by their party bosses who use the freedom-of- speech mantra to let Pakistanis devour their anti-India moments.

The Labour Party has probably little or no knowledge of the complexities of the Kashmir ‘dispute’ and simply sees it as a territorial quarrel between ‘two nuclear-armed’ neighbours in South Asia. It is doubtful if the Labour leaders—or leaders of other British parties—care to recall, for instance, that Pakistan-backed Islamist insurgents had resorted to an ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Kashmir in late 1980s when nearly all of the estimated 600,000 the Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) were driven out of homes, thousands of them killed before they could leave for safety. Even today, it is nearly impossible for the Pandits to return home because the Pakistani-backed insurgents do not want them back. Has the Labour Party passed any resolution on that.