Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday called upon residents to avoid ideological differences in order to defeat Indian designs to create differences among Kashmiris.
“The enemy wants to weaken us by creating ideological friction in our ranks," Haider said at a function in Muzaffarabad — one of the several events held across AJK — to mark the 73rd anniversary of India's invasion of Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Black Day.’
"In order to frustrate her designs, we all should stick to one unanimous demand: the right to self-determination […] Every party has the right to talk about future status at the time of the plebiscite in accordance with the UN resolutions,” he maintained.
“The state of Jammu and Kashmir is one entity and being part of Kashmir freedom movement we all have to decide its fate collectively,” he stated.
Underscoring the need for unity, he said it was imperative also because the Kashmiris were confronted with an enemy which was strong economically, militarily and also diplomatically. He added that AJK’s existence was vitally important not only to ensure the success of Kashmir freedom movement but also to stall the division of the disputed Himalayan region.
“Those disturbing harmony are the collaborators of the enemy in our ranks and should be exposed,” he said and added: “We will have to prefer Kashmiriyat and this includes not just the Kashmiri-speaking Muslims but all those inhabiting the state of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their race, religion and language."
Paying tribute to the people of occupied Kashmir, he called for the release of all Kashmiri political prisoners, repeal of draconian laws and lifting of curbs on media and communication. The AJK premier urged the Foreign Office to play its role in the circulation of the recent United Nation reports about Kashmir across the globe.
He clarified that Kashmiris were not at war with the Hindu religion but the extremist and jingoistic government in New Delhi.
Later in the day, Haider said that the Kashmiris "now need something beyond lip service [from Pakistan] because time is running out".
"For 73 years, Pakistan has extended "diplomatic, political & moral" support to the struggling Kashmiris who love to be buried in coffins draped with Pakistan flags. But this support hasn't alleviated, let alone ended, their plight. They now need something beyond lip service coz time is running out," he tweeted.
AJK has never been averse to GB's rights
In his address at the ceremony to observe Black Day, Haider also regretted that "propaganda had made the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) feel repugnance towards AJK" despite the fact that the latter had never been averse to the constitutional and legal rights of the former.
Alluding to comments by some people, including a federal minister, that he had kept mum on the issue of GB’s status at a high profile meeting in Islamabad, Haider said: “The GB issue has been discussed at the concerned forums, but as prime minister, I am under an oath to keep discussions at such meetings to myself.”
The AJK premier deplored the “ongoing tradition in the country to dub others as traitors” and declared that he did not need to take a certificate of patriotism as Pakistan ran in his blood. Earlier this month, Haider was nominated in a sedition case along with other PML-N leadership. His name was later struck off from the case.
He also paid rich tributes to the armed forces of Pakistan and said thousands of Kashmiri youths were offering sacrifices for the country as proud members of the Pakistan Army.
Of the arrival of tribals from Khyber Pakhtunkwa in Kashmir in October 1947, he said those distorting facts in this regard should look at history to find that "they had responded to our call for help".
The AJK premier invited the leadership of Pakistan as well as the region to join him in his upcoming tour to the areas along the Line of Control to boost the morale of people braving Indian aggression.
“This is our duty and there should not be any disagreement among us in this regard.”
Others who spoke on the occasion were APHC convenor Muhammad Hassan Khateeb, Sardar Hassan Ibrahim MLA of Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party, Deevan Ali Khan Chughtai of Muslim Conference, Syed Nazeer Hussain Shah of Jamaat-e-Islami.