Calling upon Pakistan to dismantle terrorist bases, particularly those in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, United Kingdom MP Bob Blackman has said that Islamabad should listen to the International Monetary Fund to bring its economy in shape.
In an interview with ANI, Blackman said the way the United States left Afghanistan was a mistake and the Taliban has “extinguished” hard-won women’s rights.
“People who foster terrorism or state-sponsored terrorism, it is fundamentally wrong and we have got to counter that,” he said responding to a query about the threat of terrorism from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“My personal view is that it was a mistake to withdraw from Afghanistan in the way we did. Obviously, the Americans made the key decision to withdraw their troops and it meant we had to follow, because we were not in a position to carry out the duties there by ourselves,” said Blackman, a ruling Conservative MP for Harrow East.
“We have seen once again Taliban takeover and slowly and gradually Taliban have extinguished the women’s rights that were hard won,” he said.
He said Afghanistan and Pakistan are part and parcel of the illegal drug trade that takes place. “We need to counter that as well.”
Noting that Pakistan’s economy is shot to pieces he said “my message to them is that you need to listen to what the IMF is advising you to do”.
“You bring your economy into shape. can’t go appealing to the world for money and support. You must put things right,” he said.
“And, the first duty is to say, look, where you have got terrorist bases, particularly in illegally occupied part of Kashmir, have those terrorist bases dismantled and then restore peace,” he added.
Bob Blackman has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Harrow East since 2010. He was a Greater London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow for four years, after ousting the Labour Leader on the GLA in June 2004.
According to his website, Blackman was also a Councillor for the Preston Ward in Brent for 24 years, serving as leader of the Brent Conservatives from 1990 to 2010, before stepping down in order to stand as the Conservative candidate for Harrow East.
Asked about violence against the Indian community in Leicester in the UK in September last year and vandalization of premises and symbols of Hindu religion, the MP said “it was extremely regrettable and should not have happened”.
“The people responsible, a large number of them were arrested and dealt with appropriately,” he said.
Blackman said police took action to counter false propaganda but violence did take place.
He said over 99 per cent of the Muslim population in the UK are peaceful and peace-loving people.
“They want to go about their life, celebrate their religion of course. There is this very small minority that wants to cause trouble, they become terrorists, they may groom others, they may encourage people to be radicalised, and we have to counter that very aptly. One of the problems is how we do that.”
He said that there is a small population pro-Khalistan supporters who are promoting “not quite terrorism in UK but certainly disorder… and that has to be prevented as well”
He also talked of misuse of the internet and social media.
“Young people can be radicalised literally in their bedrooms, then they become radicalised, they have hatred placed in their minds of people who could be their neighbours just because of their religion. We have to counter that. We don’t understand the reason why people become radicalized, there are a number of hate preachers who wish to radicalise people,” he said.
Blackman said he represents Harrow which has people from every religion.
“I can probably take you to someone from every country in the world who lives in my constituency. Every language is spoken, every religion is celebrated and people live together in peace and harmony and I wouldn’t want it any other way. That demonstrates that we can have situations where people do cooperate together. It’s very important that different faith organisations come together, speak together, and if there are any concerns, any tensions they talk about them rather than resorting to demonstrations and causing trouble,” added Blackman to ANI.