British MP slammed for saying Pakistani men ‘predominately’ involved in sexual abuse

Sarah Champion was accused of making inflammatory statements. (Photo courtesy: sarahchampionmp.com)
Updated 13 August 2017
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British MP slammed for saying Pakistani men ‘predominately’ involved in sexual abuse

DUBAI: A British Labour MP has slammed a colleague’s claim that Pakistani men are “predominately” involved in grooming young girls for sexual abuse.
MP Naz Shah accused Sarah Champion of making “blanket, racialized, loaded statements” and branded her as “irresponsible.”
The Bradford West MP went on to say that the majority of abusers are white men, not Pakistanis, The Independent reported Sunday.
Champion, a shadow minister, made the comments recently, in relation to the Rotherham sexual abuse case, in which a gang of Asian and Middle Eastern men was found to have been grooming young girls for abuse.
It was “predominately Pakistani men” who were involved in such cases “time and time and time again,” Champion said.
She followed up her comments with an opinion editorial in The Sun newspaper, with the headline: “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls – and it’s time we faced up to it.”
In the article, she wrote: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”
In a counter-article for The Independent, Shah said: “Such an incendiary headline and article is not only irresponsible but is also setting a very dangerous precedent and must be challenged.”
She argued that abusers are predominantly white men, but “we wouldn’t suggest that white people ‘are raping children’ and or use the whole community to describe the actions of a few criminals.
“That would not only be horrific but simply put, it would be ridiculous.”
“I also have two sons. Blanket racialized loaded statements like these set them up to fail before they even reach their teenage years.”

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Pakistan welcomes, but India rejects Chinese envoy’s call for ‘peace talks’

Updated 59 sec ago
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Pakistan welcomes, but India rejects Chinese envoy’s call for ‘peace talks’

  • Islamabad is willing to talk to India 'bilaterally, trilaterally, or multilaterally — the important thing is dialogue,' says Mushahid Hussain
  • India is wary because of Pakistan's 'close strategic alliance' with China, says Ashok Behuria

NEW DELHI, ISLAMABAD: The Indian government has rejected a Chinese call for a trilateral meeting to help resolve tensions between India and Pakistan, saying that the relationship between the nuclear rivals was “purely bilateral.”
On Monday, China’s ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, urged India and Pakistan to meet with China on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Eurasian political, economic and security forum with eight countries, including India and Pakistan, as members.
The envoy made his remarks in a speech at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on the theme “Beyond Wuhan: How far and fast can China-India relations go?”
“If China, Russia and Mongolia can have a trilateral summit, then why not India, China and Pakistan?” Luo asked.
India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said on Tuesday that the ministry had seen reports of the Chinese envoy’s comments, but had not received any official offer from the Chinese government.
“We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the ambassador,” he said. “Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for the involvement of any third country.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry also said on Tuesday that China had not officially communicated the offer to Islamabad.
Dr. Mohammed Faisal, a Foreign Office spokesman, told Arab News the ministry was unaware of the Chinese gesture. He declined to comment further.
The Chinese envoy’s remarks reflect growing fears in Beijing that rivalry between India and Pakistan could threaten its One Belt One Road development strategy to connect Eurasian countries through a trillion-dollar trade corridor.
Since 1947 India has been involved in four wars and countless border skirmishes with Pakistan, and the two continue to wrestle for dominance in the subcontinent. China is also a political and military ally of Islamabad.
Apart from its distrust of Pakistan, India is also deeply wary of China.
Last June the two countries were locked in a face-off on the Doklam plateau at the trijunction between India, Bhutan and China, an area disputed by China and Bhutan.
Ashok Behuria, the coordinator of the South Asia Center at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, described the Chinese envoy’s idea as a “non-starter.”
“India officially will never consider it,” Behuria said.
“India opposes any suggestion of mediation with Pakistan, so that will always stand in the way of a tripartite meet. And because of the close strategic alliance between Pakistan and China, India will be doubly wary of such a suggestion.”
Lt. Gen. (Retd) S.L. Narasimhan, a China expert, dismissed the Chinese offer, saying India would not welcome third-party intervention.
“China seems to be trying to get into the role of mediation— this is not the first issue it has offered to mediate,” he said.
“If someone is trying to mediate on your behalf, he attains a position where he can adjudicate and increase his influence,” Narasimhan said. “That is what China seems to be trying here.”
However, Luo’s comments were welcomed by Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Committee and head of the Pakistan-China Institute.
“The proposal has been made by a senior diplomat who has served in Pakistan and comes in the context of some major developments,” Sayed told Arab News.
“One is the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Wuhan, where they held a six-hour talk. The second is the discussion between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. The third is the sudden strengthening of the Afghan peace process in which again China is the factor.
“China is keen because it has launched what is probably the most important diplomatic and development initiative of the 21st century — Xi’s ‘belt and road’ strategy,” he said.
“Beijing feels there should be an environment of peace, security and stability in Asia to provide the context for operations and connectivity sought under the belt and road initiative.”
Sayed said Pakistan is willing to talk to India “bilaterally, trilaterally, or multilaterally — the important thing is dialogue.”
“If North Korea and America can have a dialogue over Korean issues, why not Pakistan and India over Kashmir and other bilateral issues that affect our relations?“
Analysts say India is unlikely to agree to talks with Islamabad before Pakistan’s elections in July. New Delhi is relying on informal communication channels, though with Indian elections due in 2019 it is unclear if the Modi administration would change its position on a resumption of dialogue.

Sayed said China has immense trade leverage over India, with New Delhi “feeling isolated from the general trend in the region.”
“India is feeling the pressure, diplomatically and otherwise,” he said.

“There is a difference between Indian policy and its posturing, and sooner or later it will have to come to the conference table to start talking to Pakistan rather than talking at Pakistan,” he said.