MIRPUR (AJK): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned Indian civil and military leadership against launching an attack on Pakistan or Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) “out of any misconception” and said it would be their “last mistake”.
He also sent a message of hope to the besieged eight million Kashmiris that good times were coming and that New Delhi’s Aug 5 move would eventually rid their homeland of Indian occupation.
He expressed these views while addressing a public gathering outside Quaid-i-Azam Cricket Stadium in this lakeside city. Most of the participants were holding and waving AJK and Pakistan flags.
Referring to a recent statement of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Indian forces would not take more than seven to 10 days to make Pakistan “bite the dust”, PM Khan said it seemed that Mr Modi’s degree was fake and he had no knowledge of world history.
Revocation of held valley’s special status has helped internationalise Kashmir issue, PM says at a public meeting
He recalled that the leaders who had shown such arrogance had always been defeated in the past, giving examples of the failure of Hitler’s and Napoleon’s forces to conquer Russia, of US forces to win the Afghan war and to conquer Vietnam.
“Narendra Modi, the statement you gave on this country, and the Indian army chief ... this is my message to you both ... You already committed a folly six months ago out of haughtiness and if you commit the next one, just remember, every citizen of this 200 million-strong nation, down to the last child, will fight till their last breath.”
“We will fight and we will show you how we can fight. Our army is exceptionally battle-hardened… Being believers, none of us fears death,” he added.
PM Khan said resentment against Mr Modi had already increased in India in the wake of the controversial citizenship law and people were up in arms against the BJP government.
“If you think out of misconception that you can raise your Hindu vote bank by attacking Pakistan, it will be your last mistake,” he warned Mr Modi.
PM Khan said the world had forgotten Kashmir before India’s Aug 5 move as hardly anyone would take its name, including the friends of Pakistan in the Islamic world.
“However, over the past six months, Kashmir has got internationalised — something India has always tried its best to stop.”
PM Khan asserted that today’s Pakistan was a country that settled disputes in the world.
“We tried our best to ensure that there is no fight and tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We are [also] trying our best to bring peace in Afghanistan.”
He told Mr Modi that whenever any leader ran his campaign on the basis of antagonism it was bound to bring destruction even if victory was secured in elections.
He said revocation of special status of occupied Kashmir and lockdown was part of the RSS manifesto.
“On his part, Mr Modi might have thought he has wound up the Kashmir issue but in effect it has ended up internationalising the dispute in an unprecedented way.”
“After Aug 5, whoever and however world leaders I met I apprised them of what is happening in Kashmir,” he said, listing US president Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov among those leaders.
“Today the world has come to know the condition of the Kashmiri people and is therefore demanding release of Kashmiri detainees and restoration of internet communication system.”
“In this backdrop, I can foresee good times for Kashmir. This [situation] will not prevail for long. The day curfew is lifted, an ocean of people will come out with the single slogan of freedom, leaving no other card with Mr Modi to play,” he said.
Earlier, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Mr Qureshi and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur also spoke on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2020