A group of seven Tory MPs have relaunched a group named ‘The Conservative Friends of Kashmir’, which is aimed at campaigning for Kashmir, sparking outrage among swathes of Tory-supporting British Indians.
The group recently tweeted, “We have relaunched the Conservatives Friends of Kashmir. We campaign for self-determination and an end to human rights abuses in Kashmir and Jammu. There is growing support for our cause amongst Conservative MPs and activists. Follow us and our work!”
The move has unnerved the Conservative Friends of India (CFI), which promotes the party among British Indians. The Tory MPs in the group include Paul Bristow (Peterborough), James Daly (Bury North), Jack Brereton (Stoke on Trent South) and Steve Baker (Wycombe), all representing constituencies with significant Pakistani populations.
Brereton, Daly and Bristow also sit on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPGK), which is chaired by Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, who was deported to Dubai on February 17 after being informed at the Delhi airport that her e-visa was not valid. The following day she flew to Pakistan and met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, all funded by Islamabad. Lord Rami Ranger, a patron of the Conservative Friends of India, has written a letter to Bristow and Daly, appealing them not to undo the work he has done. “Kashmir is dividing the Conservatives,” Ranger said. “This is a fringe group created by a few MPs to support their Mirpuri constituents. Pakistan will be behind this. This could severely damage the reputation of Tories among British Indians,” he added.