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Lord Nazir to assist anti-Modi campaign ahead of Indian PM’s arrival in UK

Updated April 09, 2018

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Lord Nazir Ahmed speaks at the press conference on Sunday.—PPI
Lord Nazir Ahmed speaks at the press conference on Sunday.—PPI

KARACHI: Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the British House of Lords, has said that he will be part of a campaign against the Indian prime minister starting next week, a few days ahead of the Indian leader’s visit to the United Kingdom.

“We have decided to launch a campaign against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi two days before his arrival in Britain which is scheduled for April 17,” he said while speaking at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday.

He added that one of the main motivating factors behind the move was the “barbaric acts committed by the Indian forces in the India-held Kashmir (IHK)”.

As part of the campaign, he said posters highlighting Indian atrocities would be put on double-decker buses, gas bills and t-shirts.

He added that the Sikh community residing in Britain supported the campaign.

“No one has funded us for this campaign,” he explained, adding that his bank accounts could be checked and he was “just assisting (the campaign)”.

Says he is unhappy with OIC, Kashmir committees’ roles

According to Lord Ahmed, Kashmir was his home and it had witnessed a sharp increase in violent acts committed by Indian security agencies since Mr Modi was elected.

“I believe in an unarmed and peaceful struggle. However, this does not mean that people should keep quiet over the Indian atrocities in IHK,” he said, adding that he was not happy with the Organisation of Islamic Conference, which was silent over the events in Kashmir.

He criticised the international community for its silence on the issue and claimed that “such silence is equal to supporting tyranny and the tyrant”.

“In India, what they call democracy is fascism in actual terms. Minority communities such as Muslims, Sikhs and certain castes of Hindus are deprived of their basic rights in India,” he added.

Discussing Pakistan’s role, the Lord Nazir said that Pakistan had not effectively raised the Kashmir issue internationally as the country had no foreign minister for four years while former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had just spoken about the issue once at the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

“The Kashmir committees in the National Assembly and Senate have heads but they do not work effectively. The Kashmir issue can never be solved with this kind of an attitude,” he said.

Mr Ahmed said that he had sent a letter to Metropolitan Police in London regarding the murder of MQM leader Imran Farooq.

He also said that former president Gen Pervez Musharraf had supported the Kashmiri mujahideen before the 9/11 attacks but after the attacks on US soil, he proclaimed them as terrorists.

Rohingya Muslims

Earlier, Lord Ahmed said that homeless Muslim communities in Myanmar and Syria were waiting for a generous support from Muslim countries.

He said this while addressing a gathering organised by Al-Mustafa Welfare Trust (AMWT), a charity with its network operating in 20 countries.

“Philanthropists should extend all support to the charity so that it can expand its welfare work,” he said.

A documentary about the AMWT’s activities showed hundreds of food bags being distributed among the Rohingya Muslims and Syrian refugees, as well as treatment facilities, including eye operations, being provided to patients at medical camps held in various parts of Pakistan.

AMWT chief Hanif Tayyab talked about the charity’s future plans and thanked Lord Ahmed and Turkish donors for supporting the organisation.

Prof Hasan Kocoglu, chief of the Turkish donor organisation Alliance of International Doctors, and AMWT’s UK incharge Abdul Razzaq Sajid also spoke at the event.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2018