MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday accused the federal government of “secretly establishing relations” with India, allegedly, for its own “business interests” and in complete “disregard of the sacrifices” of the people of India-held Jammu and Kashmir.
The PTI chief, who arrived in the city at the invitation of AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, was addressing a large gathering in the heart of Muzaffarabad. According to organisers, it was Mr Khan’s 52nd public meeting since his ouster from power in April.
Terming the Kashmiris “special people” for their ceaseless freedom struggle and at least “100,000 sacrifices over the past 33 years”, the PTI chief assured them that he would not let their struggle be for naught.
He recalled that on August 5, 2019, when the “fascist Narendra Modi-led Indian government” revoked the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, his government had severed all ties with New Delhi.
Ex-PM lambastes Dar, says PML-N leader laundered money for Sharifs
“You know very well that every country derives benefits from trade. India is a big country and Pakistan would also have benefited from trade with it. But my government decided that we would never compromise on the Kashmiris’ freedom movement,” he said, adding, “We made it clear that we will normalise relations and trade with India only after the revival of the statehood of occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
However, without naming any particular nation, he alleged that ever since this “imported government had been imposed on the Pakistanis under a foreign conspiracy it was working on the agenda of its foreign masters.”
Referring to the audio leaks, the PTI chief sarcastically observed that he owed a debt of gratitude to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for leaking his conversation with former principal secretary Azam Khan, as the leaked clip proved the reality of the cipher.
“They do not know that we were putting pressure on India and that Pakistani people will never mend fences with them unless they restore the statehood of Kashmir. But what are they doing? They are clandestinely and shamelessly establishing relations with India,” he alleged.
The PTI chief took strong exception to the return of Ishaq Dar as finance minister, alleging that he had given a “confessional statement in 2000 about how he had laundered money for the Sharif family”.
Mr Khan also asked the people of AJK to prepare themselves to respond to his call and asked them to join his movement. He chided Chief Election Commissioner Sultan Sikandar Raja, terming him “chief electoral fraud”.
“Though we already knew it, the audio leaks have proven that this charlatan has been fixing matches in collusion with the PML-N,” he alleged.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022