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'All Kashmiris need is good leadership,' PM Abbasi says on Kashmir Day

Updated February 05, 2018

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PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addresses the AJK Legislative Assembly on Kashmir Day. ─ DawnNews
PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addresses the AJK Legislative Assembly on Kashmir Day. ─ DawnNews

Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in an address to the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly on Kashmir Day, urged politicians to continue supporting the struggle of India-held Kashmir's people.

"The people of Kashmir will continue to fight for freedom even if we [politicians] do not stand united [behind them]," he said. "But our unity will give them strength," he asserted.

PM Abbasi reaffirmed Pakistan's support to the people of Kashmir and their leaders fighting for freedom from Indian rule. He said that Indian government knew it could not suppress the struggle of Kashmiris even if they tried.

He added that political leaders, despite their differences, should not "doubt each other on the [Kashmir] issue".

Praising the resolve of the Kashmiri people, PM Abbasi said that "all Pakistan had to do" was to continue drawing attention to the Kashmir issue on every forum available. He urged AJK leaders to work together to mobilise the people of held Kashmir.

"Kashmiris are a huge force. All they need is good leadership and it is your responsibility to provide that," the PM said. "The government will provide all the resources that you need in this regard."

He said that Pakistan had always sought a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue and would continue to do so.

The premier also lauded the army for fighting to keep the country's borders safe and announced that the government will provide for the families of martyrs who sacrificed their lives while posted at the Line of Control.

He said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had included the project of the Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur road in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor only for the sake of development in AJK.

The PM asked AJK leaders to focus on ensuring good governance in the region and continue raising the Kashmir issue on every international forum, whether economic, political or diplomatic.

Referring to the 2016 elections in AJK where the ruling PML-N grabbed 31 seats out of 41, PM Abbasi stressed that the government had not interfered in the polls, whether "people believe it or not".

He claimed that although past governments had attempted to influence polls in AJK, the current government had ensured fair elections.

Kashmir Day messages

President Mamnoon Hussain also reiterated Pakistan's political, moral and diplomatic support for held Kashmir's struggle for freedom, Radio Pakistan reported.

The Foreign Office in a statement also vowed that Islamabad would stand beside the Kashmiri people and support their right to self-determination.

In his Kashmir Day message, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also praised Kashmiri separatists, saying that the "repression of Indian occupying forces can never suppress [the] valiant spirit of Kashmiris".

His message was shared by Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Twitter.