Just weeks after terrorist attacks on an Army camp in Uri in Kashmir that martyred 19 Indian soldiers, a petition asking the UK government to “strongly condemn Pakistan for providing safe haven for terrorists” has received 3,875 signatures.
The number has started gaining traction with numbers rising almost by the second.
What’s notable is that in the UK, petitions like this one receive a response from the government if they get 10,000 signatures. As many as 100,000 signatures, and UK law requires that they be considered for a Parliamentary debate.
The petition noted that “Pakistan continues to double speak on issue of terrorism. It has aided and abetted enemies of the international coalition, of which Britain is a leading partner with the US, against terrorism. It cites former al-Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in the country as an example.
Senior officers in the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency – the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – are said to be in cahoots with several “militant and criminal groups,” the petition says.
It adds that ISI is accused of “playing a role in major terrorist attacks across the world including the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, terrorism in Kashmir, (the attack on) Indian Parliament….and (the) Mumbai terror attacks.”
Daniel Byman, professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service in the Security Studies Programme and Department of Government, says “Pakistan is probably today’s most active sponsor of terrorism.”
Notably, UK’s Foreign Minister called External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to tell her that the UK stood shoulder-to shoulder with India in defeating terrorism.
On September 21, an Indian-American petition has also been floated asking the Obama Administration to declare Pakistan a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism.’ The White House has 60 days to respond to a petition once it gets 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
In addition, a change.org petition has been floated addressed to PM Modi, Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha that says that a joint session of Parliament should be convened on the first day of the Winter Session to ratify the Resolution and Bill moved by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
On September 24, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar submitted a Resolution to declare “Pakistan a terror state” and a private member’s bill “Declaration of States as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016”.