India successfully managed to completely isolate Pakistan over the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir so much so that even the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) refused to entertain Pakistan. India did face some hiccups when Trump played to Pakistan’s tune and offered to mediate in Kashmir but after a meeting with Prime Minister Modi at the G7 summit, he asserted that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and USA won’t meddle in the sensitive issue. The UK has seen a definite pro-India tilt in the past ever since David Cameron assumed power at 10 Downing Street and since then have always respected India’s standing vis-a-vis Kashmir.
There is no doubt that the UK and the US for the past few years have tilted towards India, with ties between the US and India grown significantly. Moreover, the governments’ position of both the US and the UK have been pro-India in the Kashmir issue. However, the opposition leaders of both the countries have not been on the same page as far abrogation of Article 370 is concerned. Recently, US Democratic Party leader Bernie Sanders and UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn have issued controversial statements against India. Things might have been very different had Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn been the President and the Prime Minister of their respective countries following the abrogation of Article 370.
In 2016, Bernie Sanders unsuccessfully contested against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat ticket and lost and now he is again seeking the ticket to fight President Trump in the upcoming US Presidential polls. Bernie is a staunch socialist who believes in giving everything to everyone for free and has developed a certain Leftist tilt of late. In the past, he has supported many dictatorial regimes like those of Fidel Castro and the Sandinistas and like many of the present crop of Democrats, he used to think that Venezuela is living the American Dream thanks to their Communist dictator. Fast forward to 2019 and Venezuela’s citizens are forced to feed on rats and dogs as the country’s economy is broken.
So when Bernie made a statement against India on its move to abrogate Article 370, it was of little surprise to anyone. Speaking at an event organised by the Islamic Society of North America(ISNA), he has castigated the Indian government for the restrictions on communication and claimed that India’s actions were “unacceptable”. The Vermont Senator further called for a “UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the people of Kashmir.”
The ISNA is famous for its terror links and in the past have secured funds for terrorist groups like Hamas. Many of its members are convicted on terror charges with the US Department of Justice listing ISNA as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. His Pro-Pakistan stance is thanks to his campaign manager Faiz Shakir who is an American born to Pakistani migrants and who in the past has repeatedly attacked the Jewish State and attacked Israel’s attempts to defend itself against terrorists.
Things certainly wouldn’t have gone India’s way in case of a Sanders Presidency who is evidently under the influence of Jihadis and has a history of supporting tyrannical regimes and Pakistan completely fits the bill for Bernie. While Trump has battered Pakistan by cutting the US aid to the country, Bernie not only would have increased the aid but also supplied high-tech weapons to Pakistan who in turn would have used them to spread their nefarious agenda against India.
While India is getting widespread support for its stance on Kashmir, a Sanders Presidency would have looked to mediate on Kashmir and make things difficult for India both in Kashmir and Afghanistan. As the US aims to withdraw from Afghanistan – a country in which India has invested a lot, Bernie would have been more than happy to hand the control back to Taliban and take the country back to square one and would have turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s jihadist agenda. However unpredictable Trump maybe, he has still been more of a friend than a foe to PM Modi by aiding India’s efforts to cripple and isolate Pakistan.
It’s been over 70 years since India got its independence from the UK but some of its leaders still believe that they have a say in India’s internal matters especially at a time when the UK is facing the threat of exiting from the European Union without a deal. While the Conservatives have continued to back India, the opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has completely backed Pakistan and derided India for the supposed human rights violations in Kashmir. There are 1.4 Million Indians and 1.2 Million Pakistanis residing in the United Kingdom and the Labour Party has pulled out all stops to appease the Pakistanis.
Just look at the case of Labour MP Liam Byrne who is quite vocal in his criticism over India’s move to abrogate Article 370 and perhaps there’s a reason attached to his criticism. His constituency of Birmingham Hodge Hill has a Muslim population of over 40%, most of whom are of Pakistani origin. Labour Party floated a letter, which was drafted by the Shadow Minister for Justice Yasmin Qureshi and was signed by eight other members of the party, mostly Pakistan-origin, calling the decision an “orchestrated coup” by India which led to Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman, who has been a supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launching 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.
Such is the bias of the left-leaning Labour Party that in 1997 it had passed a resolution that the Kashmir issue was part of the unfinished business of Partition. British Pakistanis have played a major role in reviving the Labour Party and Jeremy’s elevation to its leader and he is now repaying them. The Tories are fast losing their political capital thanks to Brexit and there is a very real chance of an improved Labour showing in the next election which would propel Corbyn to the seat of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Corbyn’s cabinet will be filled with Pakistan-origin Ministers and his policies will be extremely friendly towards Pakistan in a bid to appease his core voter base.
It is completely plausible that the USA and UK would have sided with Pakistan and even sit on the same bed with extremists who are hell-bent on terrorising India had Sanders been the President and Corbyn the Prime Minister of USA and UK respectively. In fact Sanders and Corbyn, possibly, would have taken the Kashmir issue to the UN following the abrogation of Article 370. Currently, Pakistan is struggling to pay for its loans and is very close to being blacklisted by the FATF, both of which wouldn’t have happened under the tenures of Sanders and Corbyn. It would have put India in a very tight spot and Pakistan would have been determined more than ever with increased funds and specialised weapons to spread terror in India.