MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is most likely to visit Muzaffarabad on Kashmir Solidarity Day on Feb 5 to voice support and solidarity with the struggling people of India occupied Kashmir at the special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly, it emerged on Wednesday.
Earlier, there were reports that like the previous year, this year too President Dr Arif Alvi would speak on behalf of the people of Pakistan at the Kashmiris representative forum in Muzaffarabad.
However, on Wednesday, an aide of Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas informed the media that Mr Sharif was expected to visit the AJK capital Muzaffarabad on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day.
The AJK premier would also host a luncheon reception for Mr Sharif at PM House where the entire political leadership would also be in attendance, said Sardar Imtiaz Shaheen in a statement.
“Prime minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas invariably believes that internal politics or political differences should not get in the way of the supreme national cause of Kashmir. Rather, leadership across the political spectrum should demonstrate complete unity for early emancipation of the tyrannised Kashmiris,” he said.
Later, PM Ilyas himself confirmed Mr Sharif’s plan on microblogging site Twitter.
“On Feb 5, 2023, PM Shehbaz Sharif will address a special session of AJK Assembly to express unflinching support and solidarity on behalf of 232 million Pakistanis with our oppressed brethren in IIOJK. Let it be known to everyone: On [the] Kashmir issue, we are always ONE, beyond politics,” he wrote.
Interestingly, on Dec 5 last year the AJK premier had an altercation with PM Sharif at the inauguration ofa refurbishment project of Mangla dam in Mirpur, allegedly after the latter had “failed to mention the sacrifices and problems of Kashmiris” in his speech at the ceremony.
In the wake of the Mirpur incident, the CDA had sealed PM Ilyas owned Centaurus Shopping Mall in Islamabad for “violations of building by laws,” in the small hours of Dec 6. The move was widely censured by the top PTI leadership on the one hand and Islamabad’s trader community on the other and the Mall was de-sealed the same night.
Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2023
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