MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday warned India that any aggression on its part in Pakistan or Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to divert attention from the situation in occupied Kashmir would be met with a strong response.
Speaking at the special session of the AJK Legislative Assembly held to mark Independence Day of Pakistan as Solidarity Day with struggling Kashmiris, Mr Khan said he was in 100 per cent agreement with AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider that India would not restrict itself to Kashmir and its hatred-filled ideology would try to make its way to Pakistan.
“We have information which we have discussed in two National Security Committee meetings and the Army also knows that India is contemplating launching some dreadful action in Azad Kashmir on the pattern of the Balakot attack,” the prime minister said, referring to the intrusion into Pakistani airspace by Indian jets on Feb 26.
“This action will be aimed at diverting world attention from occupied Kashmir, but I have a message for Narendra Modi: you take action and we will respond to your brick with stone.”
PM says if war broke out between nuclear-armed neighbours, world institutions created to prevent wars would be responsible for it
Prime Minister Khan noted with pride that Pakistan had a battle-hardened army which was fully prepared to take on the enemy. “Not only the Army, but the entire nation is ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with their troops.”
He pointed out that the Muslims had never initiated wars because this was against the teachings of Islam. “But the Muslims are not afraid of death either and this is their strength. I repeat, we will confront and take you to the end.”
The prime minister said war was not the solution to any issue as it bred three more problems while dealing with one.
He said most of the interests of India and Pakistan are common and the only issue that needs settlement through talks is Kashmir.
“After coming to power, we made every effort to resolve issues through dialogue and told India that if it moves one step towards us, we will move two steps towards it,” he recalled. “But they are filled with hatred. They have only one design: teach a lesson to Pakistan,” he deplored.
“It’s a big miscalculation by Mr Modi. Who knows where the situation will drive us? But we are ready to thwart any violation. The army and the nation are on the same page,” Prime Minister Khan said.
“Since the Kashmiris are equally battle-hardened and they also do not fear death, Mr Modi should not harbour any illusion,” he said. “You [India] can no more keep the valiant Kashmiris enslaved.”
Terming the Indian move of revoking occupied Kashmir’s special status a “strategic blunder”, he said Mr Modi and his BJP would have to pay a heavy price for it.
“They have themselves internationalised the Kashmir issue, which appeared to be difficult [of late] because when I spoke to US President Donald Trump and OIC about Kashmir, I realised that they did not have the idea [of the gravity] of the situation there,” he said.
The prime minister twice pledged to take up the responsibility of raising voice of the Kashmiris at every forum of the world. “...I will be the ambassador of your cause across the globe.”
He warned that if at all a war broke out between the nuclear-armed neighbours, the world and the institutions created to prevent wars and save the weak from the powerful would be responsible for it.
He said it was not just the Kashmiris and Pakistan but 1.25 billion Muslims (of the world) looking towards the United Nations.
“Leave aside the leadership [of Muslim countries], they have their own compulsions, I am sorry to say, but 1.25 billion Muslims have sympathies with the Kashmiris,” Mr Khan said.
Addressing the UN, he said: “What will you do to them [Kashmiris]? You have pledged a referendum to the Kashmiris through 11 resolutions to help them decide their fate, but Mr Modi has thrown them into the bin.”
Saying that Pakistan had submitted a petition in the UN, he reiterated that his government would go to every forum, including the International Court of Justice. The diaspora would also be organised and massive gatherings would be held in London and New York.
The prime minister drew parallels between Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party and India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“We are opposing a dreadful ideology of the RSS, of which Mr Modi is a member since childhood... They admire Hitler and are afflicted by racial supremacy,” he said.
This ideology had led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, demolition of Babri Mosque and massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, he said, adding mob lynching of Muslims in the name of cow protection was also part of this ideology.
Prime Minister Khan said the Kashmir card played by Mr Modi was the final part of this ideology like Hitler’s ‘final solution’.
He held the silence of the world community responsible for ever rising fanaticism in India. “When they saw nobody in the world is stopping them, they went on moving ahead with their fanaticism.”
Mr Khan said he was worried about the treatment being meted out to the Kashmiris amid curfew and communications blockade in the wake of a huge military deployment.
He pointed out that in the wake of the Nazi atrocities, the world took major steps such as creation of the UN and signing of Geneva Convention, as it resolved that this should not recur.
“[But] the world doesn’t know that the RSS ideology is as dangerous [as Nazi ideology].”
He took exception to the statements of Indian leaders, including a chief minister, about Muslim women in general and those from Kashmir in particular.
“No civilised nation can even imagine such statements but only the sick minds, devoid of civility... This will however also do away with the fallacy that India is a tolerant society.”
He said Article 370 was never an issue for Pakistan, but the Indian government had violated the country’s constitution and the judgements of India’s Supreme Court and Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s High Court on Article 370.
He remarked that today’s India was reminiscent of Nazi Germany because the judges in India were scared, the opposition was speaking against the BJP narrative in a state of nerves and RSS goons were not allowing conferences on Kashmir.
“The RSS genie is out of the bottle and cannot be bottled again. They are leading India to a big disaster where it can hardly survive,” he said, fearing tough times for Sikhs and Dalits after Muslims and Christians.
Referring to the Indian premier’s claim that he had brought happiness to Kashmir, he said: “I wonder what kind of happiness he is bringing by deploying additional troops, imposing curfew, blocking communications and locking down the region?”
Earlier, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider made an emotional speech, saying the Kashmiris, who were fighting the war of Pakistan’s security and survival, were looking towards the country for concrete help in the most testing times of their history. He cautioned that the AJK people could no more tolerate the terror being unleashed by Indian troops across the divide and might resort to en masse crossing of the Line of Control (LoC).
Mr Haider also called for change of the strategy — in a veiled reminder of his oft-repeated suggestion that the AJK government and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference should be given a greater role to represent their case around the globe.
Leader of the Opposition in AJK Legislative Assembly Chaudhry Mohammad Yasin also spoke at the session.
Earlier, when Prime Minister Imran Khan landed in Muzaffarabad, on his first visit to the territory after assuming office, along with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar and some federal ministers, he was received by the AJK president and the prime minister at the helipad. Mr Khan was given a guard of honour by police contingents on the premises of the assembly.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2019