Former prime minister Imran Khan addressing a public gathering on September 29, 2022. Twitter
Former prime minister Imran Khan addressing a public gathering on September 29, 2022. Twitter
  • UK  MP Khalid Mehmood criticises Imran Khan. 
  • Says Khan’s politics was harming Pakistan. 
  • Says flood-hit people need more help. 

NAIROBI/LONDON: The longest-serving British-Pakistani Member of Parliament (MP) in the British Parliament Khalid Mahmood MP has told PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan that his “disruptive” politics was harming Pakistan and the democratic process.

In an open letter addressed to Khan, the Birmingham MP wrote that he was “deeply concerned about the direction in which Pakistan is going mainly due to [Khan’s] actions”.

MP Mahmood wrote: “As a person of Pakistani-Kashmir background who has served in the British parliament for 21 years after six general elections and is the longest serving member of Pakistani Kashmir origins and a Muslim, I am deeply concerned about the direction in which Pakistan is going mostly because of the actions you have taken.”

“After the horrendous floods in Pakistan, which have affected over 30 million people, taking the lives of thousands of people and the livelihood of families in the affected areas, with winter approaching, there will be even more need to help and support those people, yet you are more concerned about your own position and when elections in Pakistan should be held.”

The MP added that, “India has been cracking down on Indian occupied Kashmir since August 2019, suppressing the will of the Kashmiri people by abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and Article 15 of the Indian Constitution to silence them, and their voices are still not heard because you think it is more critical that you be the only person to lead Pakistan. “

The Labour MP told Khan that the price of food and energy increased significantly “under your watch while the economy was left on the brink of default.”

The Labour MP further wrote in the letter that “holding talks with the military at night and abusing the military leadership in the daytime was not a struggle for the democratic process. “You [Khan] have repeatedly stated that the military should not be involved in politics. I will be the first to agree but the flip-flop of engagement and talks with senior military officers is hardly democracy. Nor should they be subject to abuse, either individually or as an institution.”

Mahmood continued: “Democracy is not served by one individual claiming they are the only ones fit to lead. Democracy has to take the Constitution and the principles of democracy into account. To give you an example of what is currently happening in the UK, former PM Boris Johnson was seen to be compromised due to breaching the COVID regulations and having been issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). Although this may not be a significant offence on its own, as a lawmaker, it was not appropriate to be seen as breaking the laws they had adopted. That is democracy. Then, his own party moved a vote to remove him from office. This was followed by the second nominee (Liz Truss) from the same ruling party being ousted by the party and then, within 46 days of her premiership being replaced by a third PM, Rishi Sunk. All from the same party.

“We as the Opposition party (Labour) are rightly demanding a general election as we believe that the mandate by the people has been tainted. However, we understand that this can only be delivered by a vote of no confidence in the government by the House of Commons, but the ruling party does not want to join us in a vote of no confidence. Therefore, democracy means they will continue to govern.”

“We will bring all the pressure necessary to call a general election, but doing so will not involve abuse for any politician or assailing any officers of the police, the NCA, or the armed forces.” 

This, the MP said, “will only be done once sufficient parliamentarians on the floor of the house are able to gain a democratic majority to call for a general election. This is what democracy demands.”

The veteran MP wrote: “I am disappointed with you as somebody who I met long before you became PM, and I have a great deal of respect for you as an individual and as a talented sportsman. But to insist that you are the only person fit to govern is not democracy. That is the choice of the people.

I hoped when you entered politics, as you said then, that politics should not be based on individuals, but should serve the people. I thought there should be a change in Pakistan towards new politics, but I am afraid my life has been severely dashed by your actions.”

Mahmood told Khan that he was writing to him “not in support of any political party but for the sake of the Pakistani people, who continue to suffer great economic hardship but whose plight is being exacerbated by your disruptive politics. They deserve better. As do people trying to survive the aftermath of the tragic floods and the long-suffering people of occupied Kashmir.”

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