Known for taking a tough stand against terror outfits active across the world, the Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman warned in the House of Commons that Islamist forces will eliminate democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He asserted that it is all due to the presence of the Indian Army that the Jammu and Kashmir has been stopped from becoming another Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Bob Blackman was speaking on the issue of "Human rights in Kashmir" in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament from the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir have tabled a motion on "Human rights in Kashmir" for a debate in the House of Commons. Over 20 cross-party MPs participated on both sides of the debate.
Conservative Party MPs Bob Blackman and Theresa Villiers spoke about India's democratic credentials and pointed towards the successful conduct of rural and urban local bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir despite pandemic-related adversities.
"As a democracy where religious minorities have full constitutional protections and which places great value on the respect for the rule of law, I believe that India's courts and institutions are well capable of properly investigating alleged human rights abuses," said Villiers.
Kashmir is an integral part of India
While participating in the debate, Bob Blackman said that legally and rightfully Kashmir is an integral part of India and the world must come to it and recognize the reality.
"Kashmir Valley is a beautiful area. It has huge potential for tourism, culture, trade, hydroelectric generation, and many other aspects. But the Valley is tainted due to terrorist attacks and killing and forced conversion of minorities by the radical Islamist terrorist outfits," he said.
"Just imagine if the troops are withdrawn from Kashmir, there will be no protection of civilians. The plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be like residents of Taliban controlled Afghanistan", he said, adding, "Islamist forces will eliminate Democracy in Jammu and Kashmir as we saw in Afghanistan. Only Indian Army has stopped Jammu and Kashmir in India from becoming Taliban's Afghanistan."
Bob supports India after abrogation of Article 370
After the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A in 2019, Bob Blackman had written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The strongly worded letter in support of India that Blackman also uploaded on Twitter argued that "constitutional changes are an internal matter for India"
"Unlike other countries in its neighbourhood, India has a long-established tradition of respecting different faiths including Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, and Jews. Indeed the separation of Ladakh into a separate Union Territory with a Buddhist majority demonstrates the respect and tolerance towards different traditions," he said.
Blackman had pointed out that the Narendra Modi-led government having been democratically elected, "is perfectly entitled to implement its own election manifesto which explicitly proposed these constitutional changes to Articles 370 and 35A."