MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday praised the courage and valour of the Kashmiri youth, particularly those gallantly facing atrocities in India-held Kashmir, and said they could not accept any “cowardly, gutless, corrupt and liar” as their leader.
He expressed these views at his first election-related public meeting in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), held on the premises of a college in Bagh.
“I want to give a special message to the great people of occupied Kashmir,” he said, adding “Pakistani nation appreciates and feels proud of you for the way you are showing self-respect while braving atrocities as well as the way youngsters like Burhan Wani are sacrificing their lives”.
PM Khan said that Muslims across the world were also looking towards the Kashmiris and praying for the continuity of their indomitable spirit to refuse to be coerced and suppressed by India.
Highlights initiative of Kamyab Pakistan at first election-related public meeting in AJK
Mr Khan maintained that when [Indian Prime Minister] Narendra Modi intensified atrocities in held Kashmir after Aug 5, 2019, the world might have believed that the Kashmiris would bow down. “But no such thing happened because the Kashmiris have powerful faith.”
While quoting a verse from the Quran, he expressed the hope that good times for the struggling Kashmiris were just round the corner and reassured them that he would keep on taking up their case across the globe as their “ambassador and advocate”.
The prime minister pointed out that the BJP and RSS ideology posed the biggest threat to India itself because it [ideology] did not target the Muslims alone, but also the Sikhs, Christians and scheduled castes, whom it did not consider as equal citizens.
Reiterating to raise voice for the Kashmiris at all forums, he hit out at his rivals though without taking any name.
“A leader [...] who has his wealth, properties and business outside Pakistan can never take a stand for you,” he said to the Kashmiris.
“If I too had my money and properties abroad, I could not have said an ‘absolute no’ to the United States,” he said of his recent reported refusal to allow Pakistani air bases to the US.
“I could also have told them to carry on drone attacks and [subsequently] keep on killing Pakistanis and I will just condemn it in public... But I didn’t do this because my life and death is linked with Pakistan,” he added.
Towards the end of his speech the prime minister also read out the names of PTI candidates from Poonch division from a paper, some of them with some difficulty, and asked people to stamp on ‘bat’ on July 25 to bring change in the territory.
Earlier, the prime minister spoke about the initiatives of his government such as health insurance, Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and announced that another welfare programme by the name of Kamyab Pakistan was about to be launched.
He said there were two types of economic models in the world and the PTI had adopted the “Madina Model” of which “Kamyab Pakistan” was one reflection.
He maintained that the model of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was ‘humanity first’ which was adopted by today’s China and in doing so it had brought 700 million people out of poverty in 30 years and had made itself a super power.
Mr Khan said the nations where the justice based system was not in vogue were doomed to disaster.
With this opening, he turned towards his rivals and said “all big dacoits were saying that they would topple the government in a day or two and it was because they wanted him to give them the NRO.
He asked if the Kashmiris settled in different parts of the world, particularly the UK, had ever seen an amnesty being given to any powerful person involved in corruption.
“It never happens in any civilised, successful and prosperous society that the Supreme Court convicts a person and then he resorts to such acting that even none in the Bollywood will be able to do. With looks of an innocent, indisposed person, leaves for the UK after submitting false [medical] tests and remains there,” he said while taking a jibe at Nawaz Sharif.
He asserted that he was waging a ‘holy war’ for the future of Pakistan’s younger generations by bringing the powerful under the legal net.
“The countries lacking in equal application of law can never progress, however rich resources they may possess.”
He regretted that previously Pakistan had always looked for either aid or loans and had never tried to stand on its own feet.
“No country with a begging bowl can become a great nation,” he observed, and claimed that the new Pakistan in the making would extend aid to others, instead of seeking alms from anyone.
Earlier, federal ministers Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Ali Amin Gandapur from among the visiting dignitaries and Sardar Tanveer Ilyas and Sardar Mir Akbar from among the PTI candidates also spoke.
Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2021