London: On 19th Sept 2020, British Indians were shocked to see that a group of five Member of Parliaments (MPs) within ruling Conservatives party in United Kingdom (UK) formed a fringe group by the name Conservative Friends of Kashmir. These five MPs are James Daly from Bury North, Paul Bristow from Peterborough, Steve Baker from Wycombe, Chris Wakeford from Bury South and Sara Britcliffe from Hyndburn, the formation of this group has been done purely due to vote bank compulsion by the MPs who represent constituencies with a high concentration of Pakistani Muslim voters. The setup of this unsolicited group seems to be directly influenced by the Pakistani political lobby in the UK that is evident from the Twitter exchanges between Mr Masood Khan the current so-called president of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (also known in Pakistan as Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and the messages from the Twitter handle of @CFoKashmir. The group has a reprehensible objective to directly meddle in the sovereign affairs of India, as UK’s position concerning Jammu and Kashmir has always been clear and consistent and that it is a bilateral issue to be peacefully resolved between India and Pakistan.
British Indian community have intensely boycotted Labour party during December 2019 general elections in UK for similar reasons, as it has passed a one-sided illegal resolution in September 2019 against Indian government’s after lawful abrogation of article 370. On 6th December 2019, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told British Indians that there is no place for anti-India sentiments in the UK but it is very disappointing to note that @CFoKashmir which is led by members and MPs of the Conservative Party, is spreading lies about Kashmir and fuelling anti-India sentiments in the UK. On 24th September 2020, British Indians Diaspora (which comprises of 83 British Indian organisations) wrote a strongly worded letter to the Chairman (Benjamin Eliot and Amanda Milling) strongly urging to immediately disband ‘Conservative Friends of Kashmir’ and take the necessary action to ensure such mischievous attempts will not be made in future.
The British Indians have also got support from Conservative Friends of India and UK MP Bob Blackman (Padma Shri) on this matter. This is to avoid any serious backlash from the British Indian community, and keeping the overall interest of the larger UK India relationship in mind and maintain harmony within the communities in the UK.