Leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is "deeply disturbing". The MP's statement generated furore among Indian netizens for his pro-Pakistan stand.
"The situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected and UN resolutions implemented," he wrote on Twitter.
While Corbyn's comments signified a shift in UK's political leanings, netizens pointed out several mishappenings of the UK government ranging from Brexit to the "British-occupied Ireland in the North".
Yeah, hello , you’re supposed to be looking after Britain, if you wouldn’t mind making a start on that thanks— It’s Revoking Time ?? #RevokeA50 (@PhotoLawn) August 11, 2019
Hey Jeremy,— Halwa-e-Hind (@e_halwa) August 11, 2019
What's up with British-occupied Ireland in the North??
Just to remind you that the Sun Set On The British Empire seven decades ago.— Nandini ?? (@NAN_DINI_) August 11, 2019
India is an independent, sovereign nation & knows what is best for her & her people.
What the government is doing is trying to build a better future for Kashmiris. By revoking article 370. And wait you are talking about human rights? You were against the conservative governments action on the chemical weapon they took in Syria?.— Tejas Naik (@Tejasnaik01) August 11, 2019
Words have consequences Mr Corbyn. You endorse the narrative of a virtual failed, fundamentalist deep state with neck deep culpability in international terrorism.— Joseph T Noony (@JoeAgneya) August 11, 2019
And you have put your country at odds with a democracy & an economic superpower in the making. You fail as a leader.
Several British Muslim MPs from the Labour party have also issued a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding the UK to "strongly condemn" the Indian government's move of revoking special status of J&K.
Drafted by Shadow Minister for Justice Yasmin Qureshi, the letter signed by eight other members of the party, mostly Pakistan-origin, called the decision an "orchestrated coup" by India.
After Article 370 was scrapped, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar last week about UK's "concerns" on the issue. He said after the meeting that "a clear readout of the situation from the perspective of the Indian government" was provided.
Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman, who has been a supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched a counter-attack on the Labour party, writing a letter to Johnson saying that the Kashmir issue is "strictly bilateral issue" and accused the party of attempting to disrupt UK's policy.
"Constitutional changes are an internal matter for India. There is a widely respected convention that we do not interfere in the domestic affairs of a third country, especially a long-standing friend and ally like India," he was quoted as saying by PTI.
The British government has said that the matter was discussed between Johnson and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and the situation was termed as "serious".
"The leaders discussed the serious situation in Kashmir and agreed on the importance of maintaining dialogue," a statement from the Downing Street said.
India has maintained that the matter of bifurcating the state into union territories under The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 is an internal matter and advised other parties to stay out of its parliamentary decisions.
PM Modi defended the Central government's decision and promised development, tourism, jobs, early and transparent elections as well as eradication of terrorism in the newly formed union territories in a national address last week.
"Removal of Article 370 is a reality, and it was a well thought out decision," he said.