MIRPUR (AJK)

Shoukat Raja, advisor to the AJK prime minister, felicitated 10 Pakistani-origin members of the British Parliament as they were elected in the recent general elections of United KIngdom.

“It is a great honour for the people of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir that ten of the sons of soil (Pakistan) stepped in the House of Commons, the 650-seat lower house of the British Parliament,” Raja said while speaking as chief guest at a reception hosted by the relatives of newly-elected British MP Barrister Imran Hussain of Bradford to celebrate his victory in the Britain elections on Tuesday.

The ceremony was largely attended by the people from all the segments of the society. It was addressed by DIG Police Dr Khalid Mahmood, Commissioner Muhammad Tayyeb, City Mayor Khawaja Sajid Mahmood, PPP AJK leader Shahid Rathore and District Bar Association President Muzaffar Ali ZAffar Advocate.

Lauding their victory, Shoukat Raja, also an AJK government spokesperson, said that the people of Jammu & Kashmir, dwelling both the sides of the Line of Control have attached great hopes with the newly-elected Pakistan and Kashmir-origin members of the British Parliament. He hoped that they would raise the importance of early peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue.

Raja underlined that since Kashmir issue itself is primarily the creation of the Britain since the partition of the Subcontinent in 1947, it would be the prime moral responsibility of the Pakistan-origin British MPs, especially those hailing from Jammu & Kashmir, to raise the importance of early settlement of the issue under the spirit of the global norms and commitments.

He recalled that the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination was already accepted by the world community through the UN resolutions. “It would be the global and moral obligation of the new British government including the newly-elected Pakistan and AJK members to raise the issue of the freedom of Jammu & Kashmir through early grant of their right to self-determination.

The six Kashmiri British Parliament members include Mirza Khalid Mahmood of Labour Party elected from Birmigham; Khalid, who retained the office, belongs to Dadayal town of this district; Yasmeen Qureshi of Labour Party, elected from Luton; and Ms Nusrat Ghani, elected from Wealden, both hailing from Dadayal Subdivision; and Ms Naz Shah of Labor Party from Chakswari Town.

MP Naz Shah had defeated her nearest rival George Gailway of the chief of Respect Party. Similarly, MP from Bradford Ms Naz Shah of Labour Party belongs to her native town of Chakswari, the parent constituency of the incumbent Pakistan Prime Minister.

Likewise, MP Barrister Imran Hussain of Labour Party belongs to adjoining village Pothi of Mirpur city and MP Shabana Mahmood of Labour Party belongs to Mangla, Mirpur. The other Pakistan-origin MPs include Tasleema Sheikh of Scottish National Party from Scotland; Sadiq Khan of Labour Party elected from Nottingham; Sajid Javed of Conservative Party from London; and Rehman Chishti of Labour Party.