MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday called for avoidance of ideological differences to defeat India’s nefarious designs to cause disagreement among the Kash­miris.

He also regretted that “propaganda has 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.

“The state of Jammu and Kashmir is one entity and being part of Kashmir freedom movement we all have to decide its fate collectively,” said Mr Haider at a function, one of the several events held across AJK to mark the 73rd anniversary of India’s invasion of Jammu and Kashmir as black day.

“The enemy wants to weaken us by creating ideological friction in our ranks. In order to frustrate its 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 United Nations resolutions,” he said.

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, Mr Haider said: “The GB issue has been discussed at the forums concerned, but as prime minister I am under an oath to keep discussions at such meetings to myself.”

Underscoring the need for unity, he said: “Those disturbing harmony are the collaborators of the enemy in our ranks and they should be exposed. We will have to prefer Kashmiriyat and this includes not just the Kashmiri [language] speaking Muslims but all those inhabiting the state of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their race, religion and language.”

Others who spoke on the occasion were All Parties Hurriyat Conference-AJK convener Mohammad Hassan Khateeb, Sardar Hassan Ibrahim, MLA of Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party, Deevan Ali Khan Chughtai of Muslim Conference and Syed Nazeer Hussain Shah of Jamaat-i-Islami.

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2020