Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday once again warned that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will "definitely" carry out an action of some sort in Azad Kashmir to divert the world's attention away from two of his government's recently introduced laws that have been criticised as anti-Muslims.
The premier was addressing a public gathering in Jhelum district's Pind Dadan Khan, hours after the ISPR reported that two Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in Indian ceasefire violations along the restive Line of Control (LoC) in Dewa sector
While extending condolences to the families of the two martyred personnel, Prime Minister Imran said the violence that has been taking place at the border is not occurring in isolation. He said Modi had virtually imprisoned eight million residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir after revoking the region's special autonomy and has now introduced two laws — the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens — which have attracted large-scale protests for being against India's 200 million Muslims.
"I have been telling the world for the past five months that the Modi-RSS government, in order to divert the world attention away from [occupied] Kashmir and the protests against the [anti-Muslims] laws, will definitely conduct some sort of action in Azad Kashmir," the prime minister told the crowd.
He said he has informed Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa of the threat, and Gen Bajwa has repeatedly told him that the armed forces are "ready for them (India). Pakistan is ready for them."
India is currently facing widespread protests after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party passed the controversial CAA. The Act makes it easier for non-Muslims from the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who settled in India prior to 2015 to gain Indian citizenship.
Thousands of people have protested, saying the law is anti-Muslim and the latest in a series of measures by Modi’s Hindu nationalist government to marginalise the community. At least 25 people have died in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Prime Minister Imran said it is his firm belief that the people of India, including Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, will now stand up against Modi "because they know what he is about to do in India is similar to the oppression of Jews by Hitler in Germany 70-80 years ago".
"Pakistan will not need to [do anything] because this system of oppression will be internally brought down by the people of India," he said.
'2020 a year of growth'
The premier said the past year had been "very difficult" for the country because the country's debt was increased four times during the tenures of the past two governments of the PPP and PML-N.
He said because of an inflated trade deficit and "laundering of dollars abroad by the leadership", the rupee's value fell by 30 per cent which in turn made imports such as those of oil and gas 30pc costlier.
Due to the government's efforts, Prime Minister Imran noted, the rupee's value is rising while exports, remittances and foreign investment are also increasing.
"In 2019, we stabilised the economy. Year 2020 will be a year of growth and providing jobs," he said.
The premier said not everyone can bring change and reforms because when one attempts to do so, various "mafias" that benefit from a corrupt system come in the way. He added that the coming year will be "difficult" for such mafias — a term he also used to refer to opposition politicians.
Groundbreaking of Jalalpur canal performed
In Pind Dadan Khan, Prime Minister Imran performed the groundbreaking of the Jalalpur Canal Project, which will be completed in a period of four years at a cost of Rs50 billion, according to Radio Pakistan.
The 116-kilometre-long canal, off-taking from Rasul Barrage, is expected to turn around the economy of the rural areas of Jhelum and Khushab, the report said.
The premier in his address said the construction of the canal will "change the fate" of the region. He lauded Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for starting the project which he said "should have been commenced 120 years ago".
The canal will not only provide drinking water to the area's residents but also irrigate nearly 175,000 acres of land.