MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan warned India on Sunday against changing the demography of occupied Kashmir in a serious breach of Geneva Convention and declared that Pakistan would raise this issue at all international forums.
Speaking at a big election rally in Mirpur, from where his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party’s regional president Barrister Sultan Mahmood is taking part in the July 25 elections, the PM paid rich tribute to the Kashmiris for their dauntless struggle to overthrow India’s illegal occupation of their motherland and said their patience, perseverance and sacrifices would soon bear fruit.
“It is the Almighty’s promise to the believers that there is relief after every adversity. And Allah willing that day is not far [for Kashmiris] because India has exhausted all options of atrocities.”
Taking exception to India’s attempts to resettle outsiders in held Kashmir, Mr Khan emphatically observed that India would fail.
He recalled that when India decided to strip held Kashmir of its special status it was under an impression that Pakistan would keep mum like the past when “no one from Pakistan would say a word when the Kashmiris were blinded with pellet guns and subjected to extrajudicial killings”.
Quoting a former foreign secretary as saying that the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had ordered that India would not be criticised, he recalled that Mr Sharif did not meet All Parties Hurriyat Conference leaders during a tour to India “lest [Indian prime minister] Modi take offence to it”.
He said Mr Modi’s misunderstanding that Pakistan would silently digest its Aug 5, 2019 move on held Kashmir was because previously Pakistani leaders would give priority to their kursi (rule), properties, businesses, bank balances outside the country and money laundering and remain quiet.
However, PM Khan said, he was a different person, not fearing anyone and having a firm belief that life and death and livelihood was in the hands of the God.
He said he felt proud that after almost five decades he had raised the Kashmir issue across the world, including United Nations Security Council, fulfilling his childhood desire to fight the case of brave Kashmiris at international forums.
He said while raising the voice of Kashmiris everywhere he told the world that the RSS- led government in India was Hindu supremacist which did not consider people of minority communities equal citizens.
That was why Mr Modi believed the Kashmiris would surrender before his oppressive policies, he said, and added: “I salute to the brave Kashmiri youth because nowhere in the world 800,000 troops are deployed to subdue nine million people.
“I am giving a message today to the people of occupied Kashmir that you have not only made us raise our heads with pride but all other oppressed people in other parts of the world, like the Palestinians facing Israeli atrocities.
“I have no qualms about saying that we will soon see occupied Kashmir free [from Indian subjugation].”
Coming to July 25 polls, Mr Khan reiterated his emphatic recommendation to the voters to ask others on the polling day if the head of party they were going to vote for was Sadiq and Ameen or a thief.
He said the honesty of a candidate did not matter if his party was headed by a “fraudster, corrupt and money launderer” who had transferred stolen money to London and was living in big mansions there purchased from that money.
“I cannot say but there is a likelihood that the PTI may have awarded its ticket to some cheater. But I assure you if the person at the top is not minting money he will not let those under him do that. If I am indulged in corruption myself I will shut my eyes from corruption by my subordinates.”
Referring to the PML-N and PPP, he said the two parties had looted the country over the past 30 years and since their leaders were corrupt they were allowing all those under them to make hay while the sun shone.
He said the voters should also ask on July 25 when the courts in the country were free and did not take dictations, why some leaders were avoiding appearance before the courts if they had not committed any crime.
Mr Khan claimed that when he was subjected to a vindictive action he did not flee the country and instead faced the courts for about eight months, with proof and answers to each and every question.
“I did not flee because I had not committed theft.”
He also urged the voters not to give even the slightest consideration to their friendship, family and clan while exercising their right to vote.
“The only consideration should be truthfulness and honesty. Otherwise you will be betraying the trust to change the future of the country and the nation.”
He reiterated that prosperity of the countries and nations had nothing to do with resources but depended on honesty (of the leadership) and rule of law and justice.
He said this was the fight of Pakistan and Kashmir to bring the “powerful dacoits” under the ambit of law and rid common man from a cruel system.
Earlier, in neighbouring Bhimber, the prime minister expressed almost similar views.
He said he acknowledged only one person as leader and that was Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, whose firm belief in truthfulness, honesty and rule of law and justice was admired even by his enemies and opponents.
Making the same request to voters in Bhimber, he said they should ask others if they were going to vote for the party of a leader who had lied and pretended illness to flee the country.
Continuing, he said of Nawaz Sharif: “He acted in such a way that some women members of our cabinet could not hold back their tears. They were worried if he could even scale the stairs of the aircraft. But as soon as he breathed in the air of London he was a completely different person than what he pretended to be here.”
Mr Khan said he was fighting for the rule of law while the mafias were trying to protect the old system.
“One thing I should tell you, the captain knows how to fight,” he said to the audience of himself: “With your support I will defeat these mafias and make Pakistan a great nation.”
Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2021