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Lord Ahmed: challenging Pakistan on Blasphemy is “kicking friends when they’re down”

In the House of Lords back in November, Lord Alton of Liverpool called upon the House to:

“ask Her Majesty’s Government what advocacy the Foreign Office is undertaking on behalf of persecuted religious minorities in Pakistan”

Justifying his question to Minister of State Lord Howell of Guildford of the FCO, Lord Alton explained:

[W]hat does the abject failure of the authorities in Pakistan to bring to justice those who were responsible for the brutal murder of Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab, and of Shahbaz Bhatti, the courageous Minister for Minorities, say about their commitment to uphold the rule of law and to protect minorities? Is not impunity for murder, forced conversion, rape, forced marriage, the denial of civil rights and the failure to protect Ahmadis, Sufis, Shias, Christians, Hindus and others directly linked to the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan? Does it not point to the crucial importance of returning to the original vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who insisted on upholding the rights of minorities, saying that they should have a full place in Pakistan society?”

Soon after, Lord Ahmed said:

“My Lords, is the Minister aware that Articles 20, 21, 22, 26 and 27 of the Pakistan constitution guarantee rights for all minorities? Does he agree that the rights of all citizens, regardless of their religion or group, should be protected? Pakistan is at war with extremists and terrorists, and since expressing its support for Operation Enduring Freedom, has lost some 34,000 citizens. Is not the right approach that of supporting Pakistan’s institutions and its democratic Government, as Her Majesty’s Government are already doing? It is better to support friends when they are in difficulties rather than kicking them when they are down.”

Salman Taseer was murdered because he spoke out for Asia Bibi, and against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, and against the institutions seeking Bibi’s death.

But if you listen to Lord Ahmed, we must not complain, because Pakistan protects her minorities under her constitution.

This was a nasty move by Lord Ahmed, who knows full well that the unjust blasphemy law is being used in Pakistan to sentence people to death. The blasphemy law also puts anyone who speaks out it, in grave danger.

Lord Ahmed thinks the FCO should stop kicking Pakistan when she’s down. He thinks Pakistan has suffered enough, having (overtly) supported the US war in Afghanistan. And so, we should not complain about Pakistani institutions.

Frankly, Lord Ahmed is a disgrace to British politics, and should have been shunted long ago. Lucy recently wrote:

Lord Ahmed has embarrassed the Labour Party on countless occasions. He gave a lobby pass to a representative of MEMO, the pro-Hamas group, and has participated in trips to visit the Hamas leadership. He booked a room in the Lords for the antisemitic hate preacher, Raed Salah. He met with the dead Al Qaeda fundraiser, Abu Rideh. He campaigned for the admission of the banned hate preacher,  Zakir Naik. He supported the anti-Labour, pro-Islamist Mayor, Lutfur Rahman. He invited the neo Nazi who calls himself “Israel Shamir” to the Lords. He killed a father of two. Now, thisIn an expression of solidarity with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, British parliamentarian of Kashmiri origin Lord Nazir Ahmed has announced a reward for the captor of US President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush.

Sadly, Lord Ahmed is not the only person in the UK working against Pakistani Christians and liberals.

The vicious Khatme-Nabuwat organisation, recently intimidated Asia Bibi’s accuser into maintaing his case blasphemy against her, when he was beginning to have doubts.

The organisation is funded from the UK, by the Khatme-Nabuwat Academy in Forest Gate, who also provide legal assistance for its sister organisation in Pakistan. A lawyer from the Academy was quoted by KeN activists in Pakistan, as promising to “chase [Asia Bibi] through Hell“.

Both Lord Ahmed and the Khatme-Nabuwat Academy ought to be firmly opposed. Neither should have any place in British politics.