Abdul Quayyum Raja Writes A letter to High Commissioner of UNHCHR

Assume you are 82 years old politician, who chose to retire from Parliament 11 years ago, but you are still active in politics and search of knowledge. Why do you think you would do that? Why would you retire from politics if you stay active in politics?

Dr. Brian Iddon, former British member of Parliament.

The answer comes from the life-style of a retired British politician Dr. Brian Iddon. I got to know of him when he joined my campaign to get me released from extra-judicial sentence imposed by the British interior minister in Mhatre Murder Case, an Indian diplomat killed by someone who was never caught.

Dr. Iddon retired from Parliament in 2010 after three successive terms, giving chance and space to British-Pakistani lady Yasmin Qureshi to succeed him. Many Asians in his constituency were surprised that Dr. Iddon retired from Parliament, but not from politics. He has remained active ever since and supported his successor and local councilors as well. He would attend all important meetings. He wrote a book titled Science & Politics after his retirement in which he gracefully wrote a chapter on my case which I won in the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 and was released in 2005. Dr. Brian Iddon and I remained in touch with each ever since my release though he lives in the UK and I live in Azad Kashmir. We remained connected not because of political interests, but because of political views and vision we share. That VISION is COLLECTIVE GOOD and respect for Humanity which knows no boundaries. We both believe in empowering people to stand for themselves rather than exploiting them like many self-servung politicians do. A politician with true democratic nature chooses the right moment to retire and gracefully makes the space for younger successors to come forward rather than clinging to power till death.

Another reason is that a person with skills, knowledge and substance has no fear of leaving politics, because there are lots of other useful things to do in life. Recording history and sharing knowledge is one such great thing to do. Dr. Iddon published his first book titled “Science and Politics” after his retirement. In his recent letter to me, he said he and his wife are not well. Both of them have just come out of bouts of bronchitis followed by a bout of Covid-19 (omicron variant) as well but still managed to finish a 7-volume series entitled Bolton’s Labour Members of Parliament. There have been 25 of them so far since 1902. I wish Dr. Iddon and his wife good health and Long life to share their knowledge and memories with people they care for do much.