MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday vowed that Pakistan would again vigorously raise Kashmir issue before the world on August 5 to press for its just settlement.
On August 5 last year, India had revoked special status of occupied Kashmir and placed it under a lockdown, with severed internet and other civic services, and intensified repression in a failed attempt to quell the quest of Kashmiris for freedom.
“There will be a movement across the globe on August 5 and afterwards to remind the world community of what’s happening in Indian occupied Kashmir,” PM Khan said at a ceremony in the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
“We will make full preparations before August 5 with the involvement of Pakistanis and Kashmiris living anywhere across the globe,” he said.
The ceremony was held at the AJK PM House to launch the award of cash grant to around 138,000 families living along the restive Line of Control (LoC) and affected by unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian army.
Award of cash grant to 138,000 families living along LoC begins
The prime minister, who dedicated most of his speech to Kashmir issue, said Narendra Modi-led RSS government had broken previous records of atrocities on freedom seeking Kashmiris, by blinding hundreds of people with pellet guns, burying countless people in mass graves after killing them in [fake] encounters and lodging thousands, mostly youngsters, in prisons.
“The oppressor is always a coward which unleashes terror on helpless and defenceless people,” he said of India.
The PM said India’s 800,000 plus armed personnel, unleashed on eight million Kashmiris, were killing youngsters in an organised manner.
This, he said, was in line with Mr Modi’s approach in Gujarat where he had let the RSS goons loose to carry on the pogrom against Muslims.
“It should have been known by then that Mr Modi is not a man with normal thinking but a psychopath whose RSS considers the Nazi party as its role model and itself as its replacement.”
The prime minister also drew parallels between the treatment of Jews and gypsies by the Nazis and that of Indian Muslims and Kashmiri people by BJP-RSS regime on the issue of citizenship.
“The way the Nazis committed genocide, the BJP-RSS are also heading to it,” he cautioned.
Recalling his earlier announcement about being the ambassador of the Kashmiris as well as his meetings with world leaders to apprise them of Indian government’s fanatic approach, he pointed out that like the Nazis the RSS people also believed that they belonged to a master race and wanted to eliminate Muslims, Christians and even the scheduled castes whom they viewed as untouchables.
“In Mr Modi’s ideology lies India’s destruction,” he said, adding that wise and educated Hindus also had this realisation.
Praying for strength and indefatigability for Kashmiris, he said history bore testament to the fact that if the momentum of their struggle ebbed for some time, it picked up shortly afterwards.
“If someone thinks that 80 million Kashmiris can be bowed down with terror, torture, harassment, arrests etc., it is never going to happen. The more you suppress them, the more determined they become to overthrow your illegal occupation.”
Surprisingly, on this occasion, the prime minister did not forget to inveigh against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman though without directly taking his name.
“Regrettably, when we had raised this [Kashmir] issue at the UN and elsewhere in the media, here [in Pakistan] a geezer brought out an Azadi March,” he said of last year’s rally by the JUI-F.
“In the name of this march, Kashmir issue was deliberately sabotaged as attention of media and others was diverted to the other side.”
“However, Allah willing, we will again take up and build up this cause by August 5.”
PM Khan said he realised that the LoC residents had been facing a great deal of problems due to Indian shelling and felt proud to have covered them under Ehsaas cash grant programme.
“What’s rather a heartier development for me is provision of health cards to 1.2 million people in AJK to enable them get treatment in any hospital costing up to Rs1 million,” he said.
The prime minister said that health insurance was one single step that could alleviate the sufferings of a common man because research proved that expenses on treatment of any disease disturbed the budget of the family that then found it hard to make ends meet and subsequently pushed it below the poverty line.
Therefore the government had decided to cover the entire population of AJK and erstwhile Fata by health insurance through issuance of health cards, he said.
He said despite reduction in income due to Covid-19 and lockdowns, his government had not slashed budget of AJK as well as erstwhile Fata, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.
“We stand by you and we support you. Which party governs here does not make any difference to me,” he said.
Earlier AJK President Sardar Masood Khan and PM Raja Farooq Haider also spoke. While expressing gratitude to the government of Pakistan for its support to the Kashmiris, they drew PM Khan’s attention to several aspects of Kashmir issue and AJK’s development.
Prime Minister Khan, who was accompanied by Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur, and Dr Sania Nishtar, the PM’s special assistant on poverty alleviation and social safety, was given a briefing by AJK Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana on the latest Covid-19 situation in the region.
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2020