Sadiq Khan is the “Cohesion Minister” in the Department of Communities and Local Government.
Apparently one “community” he is very concerned about is angry Pakistani students. He has just made an official visit to Pakistan and had this to say:
But Khan, London’s first Muslim MP, said the UK must differentiate itself from the US after attending meetings at universities in Pakistan. “I listened to the anger and pain over the challenges that young people growing up in Pakistan face, including the anger and frustration over US drone attacks,” he said.
The attacks by unmanned US drones have provoked fury in Pakistan, where scores of militants have been killed in the country’s remote border regions, along with innocent civilians.
“The anger and frustration at the drone attacks was huge,” Khan said. “The view they [the students] had was that the UK was somehow responsible for this. They haven’t understood this was purely a US matter. They lumped us together with the US, which to me is a poison. It demonstrates to me we have a big problem.”
He also said this:
“Because of things that happened in 2003, there is an uphill battle. We need better to explain that there has been a distinct change in UK foreign policy. For example, this month the last troops will come home from Iraq: that’s very different from the US. The drone attacks are US, not UK; our development policy doesn’t have the strings that come with US aid.”
The US attacks jihadis in Pakistan who cross the border to kill British troops in Afghanistan, train British extremists, and plan terrorist attacks in the UK itself. Men like Rashid Rauf. Yet Khan effectively takes the angry Pakistani students’ side. Their “input”, it seems, should help to drive British foreign policy.
As for Iraq, huh? Does the UK no longer support its biggest ally?
Indeed, I fear one way these words can be interpreted is this: “why don’t the jihadis attack the Americans and leave us Brits alone”.
This kind of talk is scarcely different from the “root causes” ruse of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). Surely one MCB is enough.
In fact, these remarks are quite extraordinary for any minister, let alone one charged with promoting “cohesion”.
According to the Telegraph, he has already been compelled to backtrack:
Mr Khan was later forced to clarify that he believed Britain needed to “stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are fighting terrorism” including both the US and Pakistan.
What a shambles.