The Labour Party in Britain has promised an independent inquiry into United Kingdom’s alleged role in the 1984 Operation Bluestar in its manifesto, which was released on Tuesday, for the June 8 election. In the manifesto, the party also mentioned that it will work towards political negotiations on Kashmir.
The demand for an investigation into Operation Bluestar was raised by a few British Sikh groups, reported PTI. Under the “Diplomacy” section of the manifesto, the party said, “Labour remains committed to an independent inquiry into Britain’s military role in the 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.”
The Sikh Federation UK hailed the party’s stand on the issue. “We are delighted with the commitment shown by the Labour Party by making the pledge of an independent public inquiry in the manifesto,” foundation’s chief Bhai Amrik Singh told Hindustan Times. “This puts real pressure on the Conservatives to revisit the issue and acknowledge the need for a fresh independent investigation.”
Earlier this year, the outfit had written to the Labour Party, forcing party leader Jeremy Corbyn to urge Prime Minister Theresa May for a “fresh, independent investigation”. On January 4, Corbyn shot a letter to the prime minister, saying, “It is clear to me from my discussions with Sikh groups in the UK that there remains significant resentment that over the 30 years since this most appalling event, questions remain about the role which the United Kingdom played.”
Documents released under the 30-year declassification rule had revealed that the British Special Air Services commanders had advised the Indira Gandhi government in its planning for the operation that was targeted at wiping out militants from Golden Temple. In 2014, the Heywood Review said that the nature of UK’s assistance was “purely advisory”. William Hague, who was then the foreign secretary, had told the House of Commons in February 2014 that UK’s assistance was limited. “[It was] provided to the Indian government at an early stage in their planning,” he had said, according to The Hindu.
The party also promised to remove international students from overall migration statistics, as it is believed that these students return after completing their studies. Indian students going to UK in recent years has reduced significantly after new curbs were put in place to check the number of immigrants, reported Hindustan Times.
Besides, the Labour Party also mentioned that it will recognise the state of Palestine if elected to power. “We will also urge negotiations towards a political resolution in all other regions currently experiencing conflict, including Kashmir, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, and give our strong support to those countries already working to end decades of division, including Colombia, Cyprus and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” reads the party manifesto.