Pakistan on one page when it comes to Kashmir, says Maryam Nawaz at PDM's Muzaffarabad rally

Published February 5, 2021
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses PDM rally in Muzaffarabad. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses PDM rally in Muzaffarabad. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Friday said that the entire Pakistani nation was united on the Kashmir issue despite political differences.

The former premier's daughter was addressing a public gathering organised by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir's capital, Muzaffarabad. The rally coincides with Kashmir Solidarity Day which is being observed across the country today.

"The whole nation is one on the issue of Kashmir, I assure you every child of Pakistan is united [when it comes to] Kashmir," she said. "There are political differences but when it comes to matters of national interest, whether it's atomic programme or Kashmir, the people of Pakistan stand as one."

The PML-N vice president went on to heap criticism on Prime Minister Imran Khan and accused him of "selling [occupied] Kashmir".

"Even during the eras of dictators, India didn't have the courage to change Kashmir's status," she said, referring to New Delhi's decision to strip occupied Kashmir's special autonomy in 2019.

"I heard he [Prime Minister Imran] is coming to Kotli today. I've heard that a notice on an official government paper has been sent to AJK police, saying that no members of opposition parties be allowed to attend the rally and only PTI workers should be seated. Because the fake prime minister is afraid that people will hold him accountable."

She further said that the premier's announcement to hold a two-minute silence after India repealed Article 370 of its constitution on August 5, 2019, was his government's "criminal silence" and demanded his resignation.

Praising her father Nawaz Sharif, Maryam said that the thrice-elected prime minister was the "only one" who was capable of solving the Kashmir dispute. She recalled that it was during Nawaz's rule that former Indian premier Atal Bihari Vajpayi came to Lahore and "acknowledged that Kashmir is a dispute which needs to be solved".

She also paid tribute to the Kashmiri martyrs who were killed by the Indian forces and assured the people of occupied Kashmir that "when you are hurt, our hearts are also wounded".

The PML-N leader also criticised PM Imran's foreign and defence policy, saying that his strategies had weakened the country.

"Why couldn't you get one resolution passed in favour of Kashmir on an international level? The state of your foreign policy is such that India became a member of the UNSC."

India, which is on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2021-22, has been given the Taliban Sanctions Committee, Counter-Terrorism Committee and Libya Sanctions Committee.

Maryam also claimed that PML-N lawmakers were getting phone calls and being asked to support the ruling PTI on a bill to end secret balloting in Senate and went on to declare that her father and herself had clearly stated that their party will not work with the incumbent government, even if it loses seats in the Parliament.

'Modi, PM Imran on same page'

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also addressed the gathering and slammed the prime minister, saying, "the Imran Khan who calls Modi a fascist today [...] is the same Imran Khan who prayed for Modi's victory in elections".

"This kind of incompetent prime minister not only threatens the freedom of every Pakistani but also that of every Kashmiri," Bilawal said. "We know that if Modi's fascism has to be answered, Modi's undemocratic behaviour has to be answered, then we can't answer them with fascism, we can't answer them through a puppet or a selected."

The former president's son said that the prime minister who had promised to be Kashmir's advocate is trying to become a lawyer for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The PPP chief likened PM Imran with his Indian counterpart, saying that the two were "on the same page".

"There (India) too, Modi has put restrictions on media and arrested his opponents especially from [occupied] Kashmir. And the puppet prime minister here, he was afraid of fighting against Modi but PPP and PMLN's female leadership was arrested immediately."

He declared that PM Imran will soon step down, adding that the "puppet government [will not be] allowed to trade away your rights or destroy the economy".

JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also spoke on the occasion and echoed sentiments of Maryam and Bilawal. He paid tribute to the Kashmiri people whose "elders decided to be loyal towards Pakistan and you are steadfast on it today".

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