ISLAMABAD    -   ‘One-nation conservative’ Boris Johnson, the new British Prime Minister, is a friend of both premier Imran Khan and Indian PM Narendra Modi.

But he is not expected to reconcile the two mutual friends on the Kashmir issue which has caused several wars and skirmishes between Pakistan and India.

On his visit to Pakistan as the Foreign Secretary in 2016, Johnson had made it clear his country will not become a mediator between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue but advocated a peaceful solution to the dispute.

His estranged wife Marina Wheeler – whom he married in 1993 - has both Pakistan and Indian roots.  Marina Wheeler, a British lawyer and columnist, and Boris Johnson have four children together - two daughters and two sons. She is the niece of late editor and writer Khushwant Singh.

Before they announced their separation after 25 years of marriage, Johnson had travelled several times to India with Marina Wheeler. Marina Wheeler’s Asian ancestry goes back to the town of Sargodha in West Punjab, modern-day Pakistan, with her maternal family migrating to India after the partition.

Since the wife connection itself is about to end with a divorce, Johnson has moved on. The new connections are with the top leaders in Pakistan and India.

Johnson, who won the race within the Conservative Party to become the country’s next Prime Minister, is expected to rely on his declared personal connects with PM Khan and Narendra Modi to deliver. With PM Khan, he had a famous selife that went viral on the social media.

Media reports said Johson’s great grandfather’s name was Ali Kamal and he was a journalist and a liberal politician. Ali Kamal’s father was Ahmed Afandi who was a merchant. He was born in 1867 at Qustuntunia which  is called Istanbul now.

As the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson said: “Britain did not want to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator” despite being ‘concerned’ about the violence in held Kashmir.

“The longstanding position of Britain is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting solution to the situation in Kashmir taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” Johnson added.

In 2016, Johnson said he was a great supporter of Pakistan as he had ‘links to Pakistan’ - referring to Marina Wheeler. “We want better security, trade and cultural ties with Pakistan. I am a strong supporter of this because I have a connection with Pakistan, you may know,” he remarked.

Widely known simply as ‘Boris,’ Johnson has attracted a variety of nicknames, including ‘BoJo’ - a portmanteau of his forename and surname.

Biographer Sonia Purnell described his public persona as ‘brand Boris’ noting that he developed it while at Oxford University. Journalist Max Hastings referred to this public image as a ‘façade resembling that of P G Wodehouse’s Gussie Fink-Nottle, allied to wit, charm, brilliance and startling flashes of instability.”

 

Political scientist Andrew Crines said Johnson had created “the character of a likable and trustworthy individual with strong intellectual capital.”

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has defined him as “Beano Boris” due to his perceived comical nature, saying: “He’s our Berlusconi ... He’s the only feel-good politician we have, everyone else is too busy being responsible.”

Johnson purposely cultivates a “semi-shambolic look” for instance by specifically ruffling his hair in a certain way for when he makes public appearances. Purnell saw him as ‘a manic self-promoter’ who filled his life with ‘fun and jokes.’

Described by Crines as ‘a joker,’ Johnson has stated that “humour is a utensil that you can use to sugar the pill and to get important points across.”

Boris Johnson the Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015, and was the MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008. He was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, and from 2016 to 2018 he served as Foreign Secretary.

Johnson identifies himself as a one-nation conservative and has been associated with both economically and socially liberal policies.

In 2016, Johnson was a prominent figure in the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, becoming a leading figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign. He later declined to run in the party leadership election immediately following the referendum, despite speculation that he would.

After Theresa May won the leadership, she appointed Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. He served in this position for two years, before resigning in protest at May’s approach to Brexit, criticising the Chequers Agreement. Johnson subsequently stood in the leadership election that followed May’s own resignation, and on July 23, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party.

Johnson is a controversial figure within British politics and journalism. Supporters have praised him as an entertaining, humorous, and popular figure, with an appeal stretching beyond traditional Conservative voters.

Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and the right, who have accused him of elitism, cronyism, dishonesty, laziness, and using racist and homophobic language. Johnson is the subject of several biographies and a number of fictionalised portrayals.

Becoming the UK’s Prime Minister was a long-cherished dream for Boris Johnson which has been accomplished. He will inherit a political crisis over Britain’s exit from the European Union, currently due to take place on October 31.

Johnson must persuade the EU to revive talks on a withdrawal deal that it has been adamant cannot be reopened, or else lead Britain into the economic uncertainty of an unmanaged departure.

Johnson campaigned with characteristic bluster, vowing to revive the country’s “mojo” and making one main promise: Britain will leave the EU on October 31, “come what may.” He may find that promise hard to keep. The new leader heads a government with no parliamentary majority in a deeply divided country that is facing off with a mistrustful EU.