Rishi Sunak too weak to call on Indian PM to release of Jagtar Singh Johal
London – 9 September 2023
It has been reported Rishi Sunak raised earlier today the case of Jagtar Singh Johal who has been in arbitrary detention for nearly six years with the Indian Prime Minister at the G20 summit.
The Prime Minister has come under much criticism after he refused to commit to lobbying for Jagtar despite public pressure. Disappointingly he has however not called for Jagtar’s “immediately release” as demanded by a cross-party group of over 70 UK MPs.
Rishi Sunak has instead stated he wants to ensure “justice is done” and a junior Foreign Office Minister ludicrously told Jagtar’s MP yesterday that calling for his release would “not be in his best interests”.
Dabinderjit Singh, the Principal Adviser to the Sikh Federation (UK) reacting to the news said:
“Boris Johnson as PM accepted in a letter to the Sikh Federation (UK) in July 2022 that Jagtar has been in arbitrary detention in an Indian jail since 4 November 2017. It is UK Government policy to call for the immediate release of any British citizen held abroad in arbitrary detention.”
“Rishi Sunak since taking over as PM from Liz Truss in October 2022 has unacceptably been very reluctant to personally take up the case of Jagtar with India.”
“He has however been forced today through pressure from UK MPs to raise the case of Jagtar Singh Johal with Narendra Modi. He has however demonstrated his weakness and lack of leadership by shamefully falling to stand up for the rights of a British citizen and calling for Jagtar’s immediate release.”
“Rishi Sunak and his Foreign Office Ministers are now talking utter nonsense in terms of Jagtar’s best interests and justice. They appear scared and clueless on how best to apply diplomatic pressure on India and are leaving it to the corrupt Indian judicial system.”
ENDS Jaspal Singh National Press Secretary Sikh Federation (UK)