Pakistani, Kashmiri MPs achieve historic wins in UK parliament

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In a historic shift, the 2024 UK parliamentary elections have ushered in the most ethnically diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Ethnic minority lawmakers now account for 13% of the House of Commons, up from 10% in 2019. This milestone is particularly significant for the British-Pakistani and Kashmiri communities, which now have 15 MPs, including four first-time members.

Key Pakistani and Kashmiri MPs
Labour candidates Afzal Khan, Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, Yasmin Qureshi, Muhammad Yasin, Tahir Ali, Shabana Mahmood, Zarah Sultana, Dr. Zubir Ahmed, Naushabah Khan, and Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan all secured seats in parliament. They are joined by independents Ayoub Khan and Adnan Hussain, as well as Conservative MPs Saqib Bhatti and Nusrat Ghani.

Increasing Female Representation
The new parliament will also feature a record 242 female MPs, an increase of 22 from the last election. This progress continues the trend toward greater gender equality in British politics. Diane Abbott, Britain’s first Black female lawmaker, who was re-elected to her northeast London seat, will now serve as the “mother of the house,” an honorary title for the longest-serving female MP.

Labour’s Dominant Victory under Keir Starmer
Labour’s landslide victory, with around 412 seats and a majority of 174, signals a significant political shift. Keir Starmer’s leadership has effectively ended 14 years of Conservative rule, marking a new era in British politics. Despite the high number of ethnic minority MPs, this diversity may not be fully reflected in Starmer’s initial cabinet appointments. Expected to join the top team are Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister David Lammy, Justice Minister Shabana Mahmood, and Energy Minister Ed Miliband.

Farewell to Rishi Sunak
Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the UK’s first British-Indian leader, highlighted the nation’s progress in minority representation during his farewell speech outside No. 10 Downing Street. Sunak’s tenure marked a significant milestone for ethnic diversity in British politics.

The Pakistani and Kashmiri communities have high expectations from their newly elected MPs. Fahim Kayani, a leader of the Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora, emphasized the need for these lawmakers to address issues related to Kashmir and Palestine. Kayani noted the increased number of pro-Kashmir MPs and expressed hope for their active advocacy for justice and self-determination.

BIRMINGHAM:
The ethnic Pakistani and Kashmiri politicians continued their winning streak in the British general elections, producing the “most diverse” parliament in UK history.

At least 15 Pakistani and Kashmiri-origin MPs were out of 87 candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds who were elected to the British parliament, results of elections held on Thursday showed.

Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora groups have welcomed their win and said the larger community expects them to raise their issues including those of living under illegal occupation in Kashmir and Palestine.

Afzal Khan, Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, Yasmin Qureshi, Muhammad Yasin, Tahir Ali, Shabana Mahmood, Zara Sultana, Dr Zubair Ahmed, Naushabah Khan, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan were elected on Labour Party tickets while Ayoub Khan and Adnan Hussain won elections as Independent candidates.

Saqib Bhatt and Nusrat Ghani won the polls as Conservative candidates.

Labour Party won a comfortable majority to form the government on its own.

Fahim Kayani, a prominent leader of Kashmir and Pakistani diaspora groups, extended congratulations to the winning candidates.

“The win of these candidates from minority groups is a big boost for the communities,” Kayani said. “It is a message of hope and prosperity.”

However, Kayani said the winning candidates got their major votes from those who expect the newly-elected lawmakers to become the voice of Kashmiris and Palestinians.

“What is good is that the number of pro-Kashmir, which equals to being pro-justice, lawmakers has increased,” Kayani said, pointing out that some 50 candidates of the Labour Party, who support the right to self-determination of Kashmiris, have won the polls.

But, he lamented, “there is loss of Kashmir’s voice among Conservatives as six lawmakers of outgoing parliament were defeated this time, including chair of Conservative friends of Kashmir Paul Bristow, who lost by just 118 votes.”

“Kashmiris and Palestinians expect these newly-elected lawmakers to be their voice and force the new Labour government to engage India and Israel to allow Kashmiris and Palestinians to decide their future,” said Kayani, the Kashmiri diaspora leader.

Labour party frontrunner Keir Starmer has finally become UK’s new prime minister and he eyed forming a diverse government.

The newly elected Prime Minister aims to lead diverse parliament with notable presence of 15 British-Pakistani members and an increased representation of women and ethnic minorities.

Labour Party candidates including Afzal Khan, Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, Yasmin Qureshi, Muhammad Yasin, Tahir Ali, Shabana Mahmood, Zarah Sultana, Dr Zubir Ahmed, Naushabah Khan, and Dr Rosena Allin-Khan secured victories, alongside independent and Conservative candidates like Ayoub Khan, Adnan Hussain, Saqib Bhatti, and Nusrat Ghani.

This has resulted in a record level of ethnic minority representation in the House of Commons, now standing at 13%, up from 10% in 2019, although still not fully reflective of the population’s diversity. The incoming Parliament will also include a record 242 female lawmakers, marking a significant increase since 2019.

Pakistani origin MPs in UK Parliament 

PartyMPs
LabourAfzal Khan, Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, Yasmin Qureshi, Muhammad Yasin, Tahir Ali, Shabana Mahmood, Zarah Sultana, Dr Zubir Ahmed, Naushabah Khan, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan
ConservativesSaqib Bhatti, Nusrat Ghani, Rishi Sunak (outgoing PM)
Ind.Saqib Bhatti, Nusrat Ghani, Rishi Sunak (outgoing PM)
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