New Delhi [India]: 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, Blackman said how the United States leaving 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.
He said Afghanistan and Pakistan are part and parcel of the illegal drug trade. “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.
Asked about violence against the Indian community in Leicester in the UK in September last year and vandalising premises and symbols of the 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 acted to counter false propaganda, but violence did occur. He said over 99 per cent of the Muslim population in the UK are peaceful and peace-loving people.
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 to stand as the Conservative candidate for Harrow East.
The British Government regards India as a strong friend and a strong ally, United Kingdom MP Bob Blackman has said that India has done a remarkable job under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in transforming the economy, and the country is on track to becoming the leading economy of the world. Blackman also spoke about the potential of the Free Trade Agreement being negotiated by India and the United Kingdom.
“As far as I am concerned, I have been a supporter of Overseas Friends of BJP for a very long time. I regard the BJP as the natural ally for the Conservative Party in the UK. The Conservative party in the United Kingdom and BJP over here, it is that friendship, that supports we value,” he said.
“The Indian Government have done a remarkable job under Narendra Modi of transforming the economy in India, leading India to become the fifth biggest economy now in the world, on track to become the leading economy in the world, by the way, it is going and the most populous country in the world. We also have to celebrate India is the biggest democracy in the world where the Government can be replaced if that’s what the people decide.”
The UK MP said the opportunities with India included free trade deal and enhanced trade between the two countries.
Blackman said that the trade deal between India and UAE had improved the trade by around 90 per cent “or something incredibly” in less than a year. “We hope to do the same thing with free trade deal with India.” He also targeted his critics about their politics.
Blackman, who has been an MP since May 2010, said India would welcome the world’s leaders this year and “it’s important that we cement our good relations”.