human rights for the Raj
by Joseph Brewda
India is encircled by religious, ethnic, and tribal-based insurgencies, all of which find a haven in London. Their most vociferous public advocate is Lord Avebury (Eric Lubbock), the chairman of the British Parliament's All Party Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.
Based on his family ties, Lord Avebury is well suited for this game. On his mother's side, he is descended from the Stanley family, which played a key role in the British foreign policy establishment during the nineteenth century. One of his ancestors was a viceroy of India. His cousin, Lord Stanley, was colonial secretary during World War II.
In addition to his "human rights" concerns, Lord Avebury has been one of the leading British advocates of reducing "world overpopulation." But unlike many of his colleagues, he is optimistic on that score. In his foreword to the 1979 Global Signposts to the 21st Century, Lord Avebury wrote, "Clearly world population is not actually going to reach 11 billion by the late-twenty-first century, as it would do arithmetically if replacement fertility is attained by 2020. Mass starvation in parts of Latin America, Africa, and Asia will have restored the balance."
In 1976, Lord Avebury formed the British Parliamentary Human Rights Group to pursue these Malthusian aims. Around the same time, he converted to Buddhism.
Lord Avebury's liberation movements
There is no formal consistency in the kind of movements championed by Lord Avebury and his self-proclaimed human rights crusaders, which can be expected, because bloody, continuing conflict, and not the victory of any one side, is his object. A survey of his concerns and assets in the Indian subcontinent and internationally, indicates this to be the case.
Kashmir: The British-orchestrated drive for an independent Kashmir is a deadly threat to both Pakistan and India. If Kashmir were to become independent, Pakistan's survival as a nation-state would be threatened, while India would be seriously weakened, especially through the impetus it would give to active and now-dormant separatist movements.
The Kashmir independence movement is centered in London and, secondarily, Washington. Its main organizations are the World Kashmir Freedom movement, headquartered in London and led by Dr. Ayyub Thukar; the Kashmiri American Council, the U.S. arm of Thukar's movement; and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), headquartered in London and led by Amanullah Khan, who is associated with the Sikh independence movement and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The professed ideology upon which Kashmiri independence is to be based is "Islamic fundamentalism."
Lord Avebury was the first British member of Parliament to publicly support the Kashmiri secessionist movement, which he did in an address to a JKLF conference in London in 1991. He there also announced his support for armed struggle, according to The Dawn of Karachi. In a March 1995 issue of Kashmir Report, Thukar's publication, Lord Avebury condemned Indian policy in Kashmir as equivalent to what would have occurred if "Britain had been invaded in 1940" and suffered Nazi occupation. He demanded that Indian troops be withdrawn from Kashmir. "New Delhi fails to understand that if peaceful initiatives are thwarted, the inevitable result will be further violence," he threatened.
Last spring, Lord Avebury attempted to sponsor an international conference on Kashmir in Nepal, but was blocked by pressure from India. "Lord Avebury deserves all praise for taking the initiative for the conference," Thukar reports. The conference was to have occurred under the joint sponsorship of Lord Avebury's All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group; the All Party British Parliamentary Kashmir Group, led by his sidekick, Roger Godsiff; and International Alert, an offshoot of Amnesty International.
Lord Avebury was also a featured speaker at the 1991 World Kashmir Freedom Movement conference in Washington, D.C., together with Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), a crusader in the U.S. Congress for Kashmiri and Sikh independence. Burton and Avebury announced that they would lead an international effort among legislators on behalf of Kashmiri independence.
'Khalistan': Efforts to create an independent homeland in Punjab for followers of the Sikh religion, dubbed "Khalistan," have been closely linked to the Kashmiri independence movement. The two movements worked together in the bloody terrorist spree in Punjab in the 1980s, including after Sikh terrorists provided the patsies who assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. In August 1995, Sikh terrorists assassinated the governor of Punjab, signaling that the movement is being reactivated after a period of dormancy.
The international headquarters of the Khalistan movement since its creation in the nineteenth century has been London. Its leader throughout the 1980s was former Punjab state finance minister Jagjit Singh Chauhan of the World Sikh Organization, who held a champagne party when Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The U.S. side of the operation is led by Dr. G.S. Aulakh, the self-styled leader of the Khalistan government-in-exile, who had been a World Sikh Organization liaison to Burton and Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), another promoter of Punjab independence, in the period following the Gandhi assassination.
Aulakh reported in a recent interview that he works closely with Lord Avebury. "I just met him the other day when I was in London. He has long supported the independence of Khalistan and, of course, Kashmir. In May, he made a very important statement to the House of Lords supporting our aims." Aulakh said that he works closely with the Kashmiri Muslims, the Nagaland separatist Christians in Northeast India, and the Hindu untouchables, including sponsoring legislation in the United States and Britain favoring their joint cause; for example, a bill sponsored by Burton which provides for cutting all U.S. aid to India due to alleged human rights abuses.
Northeast India: Sporadic insurrections in Nagaland, Mizoram, and elsewhere in the Northeast, have characterized the region since independence. The most important force is the Baptist church, especially missionaries working out of New Zealand. A large percentage of the population is Baptist, as are the neighboring non-Burmese minorities in the insurgency-plagued northern states of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar (Burma).
Here we find another of Avebury organizations at work, the Switzerland-based Christian Solidarity International, which professes to be dedicated to defending Christians from persecution by Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. Recently, the group led an international mobilization to free some Baptist missionaries from Texas who were imprisoned by Indian authorities after they were caught leading services near a sensitive Indian missile test site in Orissa. The same group of Baptists is also active in neighboring Myanmar. "CSI was the only organization that intervened on our behalf," missionary leader Finnley Baird reported after his release.
Tibet: The British drive for a Tibetan Buddhist insurrection in the immediate aftermath of the formal announcement of the death of Deng Xiaoping, is now quite public, and is designed not only to fragment China but also to foment tensions between India and China. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet handles Tibet operations in the British Parliament, and helps coordinate the Tibetan separatist movement internationally; Lord Avebury is one of its active forces. China human rights issues are directly handled out of Lord Avebury's office, in coordination with Helms's office in the United States.
Sudan: British operations against Sudan are part of the effort to provoke "Arc of Crisis"-style wars throughout the general region. In 1994, Lord Avebury and Baroness Cox co-chaired an international conference of their Christian Solidarity International in Bonn, which drew together a widely diverse mix of British-based and -run Sudanese opposition movements, including Christian tribalists from the south, pro-Egyptian Muslim groups from the north, and the Communist Party. Lord Avebury's CSI literature is so inflammatory against Islam that it classifies the Egyptian government of President Hosni Mubarak as "Islamic fundamentalist," even while Avebury promotes the objectives of the self-identified Kashmiri "Islamic fundamentalists." And while CSI has successfully organized Catholic support for its campaign against Sudan, it has also led a campaign against Catholic suppression of Baptist and other Protestant evangelicals in Mexico and Central America.
Iran: The Iranian regime of the Shiite ayatollahs was put in power by British intelligence, in coordination with its assets in the U.S. Carter administration. Since that time, Britain and the United States have continued to covertly aid Iran, while their provocative public efforts to isolate the regime have served to sustain it in the eyes of its own population.
In June, Lord Avebury held a press conference in London on his successful effort to mobilize members of parliaments throughout Europe against the Iranian government, and on behalf of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (the "National Council of Resistance"), an Iraqi-based communist outfit.
Lord Avebury reported that 250 members of the House of Commons and 175 members of the House of Lords signed a statement that he circulated, denouncing Iran for executing 100,000 people since the revolution, and calling for "military, economic, commercial, political, and economic sanctions" against Iran. The statement called for support for the Mujahideen-e-Khalq. Mohsen Resaee, the first secretary of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, reported at that press conference that a total of 1,700 members of Parliament and congressmen internationally supported the resolution, including 202 U.S. congressman.
The Mujahideen-e-Khalq is a terrorist organization condemned by the U.S. State Department but championed by Senator Helms. Although communist, the group coordinates its operations with the Sipah e Sahaba, a Saudi-run, Sunni chauvinist movement which has carried out the anti-Shiite massacres in Karachi. The Sipah e Sahaba, which includes a considerable number of British Muslims in its ranks, is among the groups that were trained as Afghan mujahideen in Pakistan.
And, while leading the opposition to Iran, arm-in-arm with communists allied with anti-Shiite, Sunni fanatics, Lord Avebury has also professed himself in favor of "self-determination" for oil-rich Bahrain, a former Iranian colony in the Persian Gulf, whose wholly Arab population is made up of Shiites, while its ruling emirate family is Sunni. The Islamic Salvation Front for Bahrain, which leads the Bahrain self-determination movement, is also based in London.