People's Justice Party (UK)
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The People's Justice Party (PJP) was a minor political party in the United Kingdom from 1998 to 2006. It was formed in 1998 and grew out of Justice for Kashmir, which changed its name to the Justice Party before settling on its final name.
It operated mainly in the Birmingham area, where it won a few council seats from the Labour Party, drawing its support mainly from the sizable Kashmiri population in the city (there are some 90,000 residents of Kashmiri descent in Birmingham).
The party platform was based on an appeal for votes on two fronts: local and international. It promised single-sex schools, changes to housing grants, and improved street lighting beside commitments to campaign for self-determination for Kashmir, the formation of a Palestinian state and the release of two Kashmiris (Mohammed Riaz and Quayyam Raja) imprisoned in 1984 for their role in the killing of an Indian diplomat. Indeed, it was that very issue that prompted their formation—before being named Justice for Kashmir, the group was entitled, the Free Riaz and Quayyam Campaign.
The PJP was led on Birmingham City Council by Shaukat Ali Khan. Ali Khan was formerly a member of the Labour Party, as were many other PJP members. Those ex-Labour members of the PJP decided to form a new party in response to what they felt was a failure by the Labour government in the UK to deal adequately with the ongoing Indian and Pakistani tensions around Kashmir, and what they perceive as a failure to improve the lives of the Kashmiri population in Birmingham.
Some people criticised it for being focussed on only one ethnic group to the exclusion of others, although the PJP itself admitted that at least half their votes come from the Birmingham Kashmiri population. It claimed to be a secular organisation.
The PJP lost all of its seats in the 2004 Birmingham City Council election, but following the finding of postal vote fraud in Aston and Bordesley Green, by-elections were held in both wards in July 2005 with the PJP seeing two of its three candidates—Shaukat Ali Khan and Mohammed Saeed—elected in Bordesley Green.
The party was dissolved in March 2006, with many of its members, including both councillors, joining the Liberal Democrats. PJP group leader Shaukat Ali Khan said talks about disbanding the party began when members worked closely with the Liberal Democrats to expose New Labour's postal vote fraud in Aston and Bordesley Green.
The founder member was Mr Allah Dita Khan and Mr Skintaj and Mr Rajasab Ali of Azad Kashmir in Pakistan.
- Council Lib Dems joined by PJP pair News announcing the disbanding of the People's Justice Party and its joining the Liberal Democrats 13 March 2006