LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) claimed victories as George Galloway lost in Bradford West and former Punjab Governor’s son Anas Sarwar lost in Glasgow central.
The most unpredictable election in several decades saw David Cameron’s Conservative party emerge as the clear winner with 330 seats, four more than the 326 required for an overall majority, while Labour collapsed to 232; Scottish National Party took 56 seats - and the number of British Pakistani MPs reached 10 for the first time.
The MQM said the “politics of division, racism and hatred” has been defeated when George Galloway, one of the MQM’s most persistent critics, lost in Bradford West to Naz Shah, British Pakistani campaigner, by 8,557 votes to 19,977 and PTI leader Chaudhary Sarwar’s son Anas lost to Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) surge.
MQM’s Mustafa Azizabadi was the first one to congratulate Naz Shah when the news broke that she had manage to defeat George Galloway by a huge margin. “Naz Shah deserves congratulations for defeating Galloway. He has promoted division and hatred. He never did anything practical but always made promises and lied.
Its great that he is no more an MP and he wouldn’t be able to utilise public money for his vile agenda. We had asked our supporters in Bradford West to support Naz Shah and they did a good job.”
The News reported three days ago that PMLN-UK leader Zubair Gull had come to the UK especially from Pakistan to urge PMLN activists in Glasgow Central to vote for Scottish nationalists against Anas Sarwar, who was considered a brilliant parliamentarian and equality campaigner.
“Our supporters in Glasgow decided on their own to vote against Anas Sarwar after Chaudhary Sarwar tried to stab PMLN in the back by becoming part of the conspiracy against democratic process in Pakistan. They have felt let down and they are rightly angry.”
One-time Scottish deputy Anas Sarwar has vowed that he will “always defend the right to fight for Labour values, fighting for solidarity across the UK, for social justice and for redistribution of wealth. Those values haven’t changed tonight.”
George Galloway’s aide Ron Mackay said the results were disappointing for the Respect party.
Speaking to this correspondent, Naz Shah said that she will be taking the issues important to her constituents to the British parliament. “I will be a voice for the issues that matter to Pakistan and I will do all I can to speak for the issues of Palestine and the right of self-determination for Kashmiris.
I am absolutely overwhelmed and honoured. A campaign of lies and slander was launched against me but we remained positive and focussed on genuine issues that matter to the local people.
Naz Shah, who is a fluent Urdu speaker and hails from Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, said: “I am a proud Pakistani and I have the benefit of having lived there for many years. I am humbled that my victory has received so much attention in Pakistan.”
In a sign of engagement of British Pakistanis in the political system, ten British Pakistanis made it to the parliament. They include Tasmina Sheikh for the SNP; Rehman Chishti, Sajid Javid and Nusrat Ghani for the Conservatives; Naz Shah, Khalid Mahmood, Shabana Mahmood, Imran Hussain, Sadiq Khan, Yasmin Qureshi.
A record number of 10 Indian-origin candidates also made it to the parliament. They include Keith Vaz, Priti Patel, Alok Sharma, Shailesh Vara, Suella Fernandes, Lisa Nandy, Rishi Sunak, Valeri Vaz., Virender Sharma and Sima Malhotra.
Three MPs of the Bangladeshi origin also made it to the British parliament on the Labour ticket. They include Rushnara Ali, Tulip Siddique, niece of Bangladesh leader Sheikh Hasina Wajid, and Rupa Huq.