London: On the last day of the Labour Conference an emergency motion to interfere in Kashmir was pushed through by Uzma Rasool, a young delegate from the constituency of Leyton and Wanstead, seconded by Neghat Khan, a young Nottingham City Councillor and wannabe Labour candidate for Nottingham East.
The motion, which had previously been rejected, was accepted unanimously and urged the Labour party to attend UNHRC to demand various interventions, and for Jeremy Corbyn to assume the role of mediator between the High Commissions of India and Pakistan to prevent a nuclear war, accept that Kashmir is a disputed territory and be given the right of self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions of social justice and ethical foreign policy. Labour Kashmiri MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah asked “comrades” to support the motion, invoking Corbyn’s recognition of Palestine.
Emily Thornberry, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said in her address, “How can it be that we have a Commonwealth member, India, revoking 70 years of constitutional protections for the Kashmiri people?”
What these folks must know is that whatever they say or do is not likely to have the slightest impact on the ground. They have failed to acknowledge the liberal benefits and the equalising of rights in the removal of the temporary imposition of Article 370. Labour is already notorious for its anti-Semitic bias and now it is openly playing to a gallery of constituents, a vote bank. It seems the Labour party has become the official anti-India, pro-Pakistan party for the whole world to see.
Labour is experiencing a serious divide between MPs over anti-Semitism, Brexit policy and Corbyn’s leadership. Ian Austin, MP, a Labour defector and the son of a Holocaust survivor said he was ashamed of his former party: they had supported extremists and terrorists, and Corbyn’s leadership was dragging the party into the mud. Manoj Ladwa, CEO of IndiaInc Publishers and previously a long-term Labour supporter, has said, “Labour has passed the most appalling, ill conceived and misinformed resolution on Kashmir. Its effect is to support oppression of women, minorities, LGBT communities and pander to jihadists.”
Ladwa drew attention to the Birmingham Live report about Sumaira Farrukh, who was filmed addressing a Birmingham protest shouting “And one thing to truth tell to the Muslim community! There’s only one solution, which is jihad.”
Shaista Aziz, Labour Oxford City Councillor, wrote for LabourList, the party’s communication platform, “Labour’s response to the future of Kashmir…is a test for the party and the wider Labour movement’s commitment to internationalism. We must take this opportunity to stand up for the rights of Kashmiris.”
Rajesh Agrawal, the born in Madhya Pradesh Deputy Mayor of London is the Chair of Labour Friends of India. Their website makes no reference to recent events, but does feature a photo taken in January 2019 of Agrawal, High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
The HC outreach was apparently effective as LFoI published a statement on 16 August respecting “India’s right to define her own constitutional arrangements. It is for India and Pakistan to resolve issues surrounding Kashmir with the aim of securing a lasting and peaceful situation…”
But the conference delegates took no heed.
The Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published an Op-Ed in the Asian Voice regretting the incidents outside the Indian High Commission on Independence Day but shifting the responsibility for peacekeeping towards the Home Office: “…it appears there has been some misinformation about what I personally could have done to stop this protest.
The truth is the power to ban marches and protests rests solely with the British Government and the Home Secretary—and is not within my power.” One of Labour’s most active members regarding Kashmir is Liam Byrne, MP Birmingham Hodge Hill, author of Turning to Face the East.
He is demanding reintroduction of the former special status. Byrne sits on the board of the GB-China Centre, is vice-chair of the APPG on East Asian Business and is a patron of Chinese for Labour. Other Chinese for Labour patrons are David Milliband, Sir Ian McCartney and Cherie Blair.
In their oeuvre for power Labour has made zero effort to understand the Indian rationale and perspective; folks have often joked about the looney-left but now looney-Labour seems to have taken over traditional Labour.
The appeasement party is creating a dangerous chasm in British society. Geopolitically, Labour risks casting a blanket of bilateral disfavour from India over UK. The UK government will have to work hard to repair relations.