During his most recent visit to the UK and Europe, the “President” of the Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) Sultan Mehmood has been busy trying to set up two propaganda campaign groups.
One such campaign group is the so-called ‘Friends of Kashmir’ and the other is the ‘Yassin Malik Defence Committee’. Mehmood has issued a deadline for August 31 by which time he expects these two campaign groups to have established networks in all major cities and towns of the UK and across Europe.
He intends to achieve the above target deadline by making use of the mosques, the Pakistani High Commissions as well as a religious zealot Pakistan and PoJK diaspora.
The economic immigrants from Pakistan mostly claim political asylum in the UK and Europe on arrival. For this they require a letter from a political party functioning among the diaspora. The letter would confirm that they face persecution and danger to their lives back home for conducting ‘party activities’.
The PoJK economic migrants are not politically motivated and their foremost reason for arriving overseas is to get a job so that they can start sending money to their families who in most cases are in debt to an agent who might have facilitated his or her travel abroad.
It is here where the role of the mosque, the high commission, and the political parties who claim to represent the PoJK diaspora come into play. The mosques, which in most cases are clandestinely supervised by the high commission of Pakistan, is where the imam who is the leader of the mosque mafia helps this new immigrant to get a job and softly recruiting the immigrant into his religious/political network.
Each time Pakistan needs to take out a so-called ‘pro-Kashmir/India’ protest in London outside the Indian High Commission, all three of the above mentioned entities – the high commission, the mosque and the political parties, are activated and buses and coaches are filled with economic migrants who is a seeker of asylum in the UK.
For the crowd gathered, such protests carry no potential value other than a free bus ride to London from Manchester, Bradford, Oldham, Nottingham, Birmingham or Leeds.
Coming back to the recent visit of Sultan Mehmood to the UK and Europe, it must be noted how easily our western politicians who are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents fall for the kind of trap set up for them by him.
The Muslim vote can make the difference between winning or losing a council or a parliamentary position. It might be one of the reasons that the western parliamentarians go along with the lies and disinformation about the Kashmir issue spread by Pakistan and its sponsored so-called Kashmiri political organisations in the west.
Muslim account for 5.43 per cent of the total population of Leeds and 8.8 per cent of that of Nottingham. Likewise, 14.3 per cent of Birmingham’s population and 15 per cent of that of Manchester is Muslim. The population of Muslims in Bradford and Oldham is 24.7 per cent and 17.73 per cent respectively. The majority of the above mentioned hail from Pakistan most of whom actually belong to PoJK.
The Indian diaspora living in Leeds accounts for 2.28 per cent of its total population, where as that of the city of Nottingham has a bewildering 0.3 per cent Hindu population. The figure for Indian diaspora living in Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Oldham and Leeds accounts for 4.6 per cent, 1.3 per cent, 0.9 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent of the total population of these cities respectively.
This data demonstrates why the Indian narrative regarding Jammu and Kashmir has seldom succeeded in becoming part of the political consciousness of the British parliamentarians and the general public.
The fact of the matter is that Pakistan, and not India, attacked the independent state of Jammu and Kashmir on October 22, 1947. On October 26, 1947 the King of Jammu Kashmir signed an instrument of accession with the first governor-general of India Lord Mountbatten and the whole state became part of the union of the Republic of India.
As cease fire was ordered by the UN Security Council, the Western parts of Jammu province and Muzaffarabad plus the Gilgit Agency (Now renamed Gilgit-Baltistan) came under Pakistani occupation and remain to this very day.
The atrocities committed by the Pakistani military establishment in PoJK and across the Line of Control that divides the state into the so-called Azad (Free) Kashmir and Indian Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir are never highlighted by the British media channels.
The fact of the matter is that the so-called campaign groups set up in the UK and across Europe by the “President of PoJK”, Barrister Sultan Mehmood, will be no more than factories spewing out disinformation across the UK and Europe.
Foolishly our British and European parliamentarians will just be facilitating the dirty work of the Pakistani military establishment across the European continent, and all in the name of Human Rights.
(-By Amjad Ayub Mirza, an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in the PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK)
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed)