–FM Qureshi says PM Imran will spearhead eight-day information campaign to express solidarity with Kashmiris
–Says Pakistan wants Kashmiris to know they are not alone
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to launch a robust campaign to counter India’s deceitful narrative over the humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the announcement in a press conference on Thursday. Briefing the media about the government’s decision, the foreign minister said that the campaign will be launched on January 25 and will be spearheaded by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself.
“India is currently acting deceitfully and is trying to create a false impression in the world by suggesting that things have normalised in the disputed territory and Pakistan is exaggerating facts,” he said.
“They put up and act or two whereby they arranged a visit for the members of the European Parliament and took 14-15 envoys to certain areas of Srinagar while denying them complete access to the leadership or a chance to interact with the detained Kashmiri leadership,” he added.
Highlighting the government’s stance, he said that PM Imran has a very clear policy about truthfully highlighting the plight of the innocent Kashmiris. “We will continue to raise the issue politically, morally and diplomatically until the Kashmiris are granted their just right to self-determination,” he added.
Keeping this in mind, he further said, the premier has decided to launch a robust information campaign and has tasked various ministers, including Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, with the responsibility of spreading awareness about the issue among the people, especially the country’s youth.
Speaking about the agenda of the campaign, he said that it will span eight days. “On January 25, we will launch a campaign across print, electronic and social mediums. On January 27, a cultural show will be held in Islamabad at the National Council of Arts (NCA). On January 28, photo exhibitions will be held at major art galleries across the nation as well as in foreign missions depicting the struggle of the Kashmiris. On January 30, a seminar will be held in Islamabad chaired by the Special Committee on Kashmir Chairman Syed Fakhar Imam. On January 31, a press conference on Kashmir will be held by Chairman Imam. On February 3, a function will be held at the Islamabad Convention Centre for youth and activists and ration will be distributed at Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) refugee camps. On February 4, a Kashmir Day ceremony will be held at Aiwan-e-Sadr in the presence of the entire diplomatic corps where documentaries will be played. On February 5, various activities, including a human chain in AJK and Kashmir solidarity rallies in all provincial capitals will be held and PM Imran will also address the legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad as well as a public rally in Mirpur,” he added.
FM Qureshi said that as per the Simla Agreement, Pakistan and India were supposed to hold bilateral talks on Kashmir. “However, as you have seen, their focus is more towards unilateralism than bilateral talks,” he said. “India’s recent steps, including the one which was taken on August 5, reflect their [India’s] unilateralism,” he added.
He said that Pakistan was successful in its efforts to highlight the issue of occupied Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) despite Indian efforts to ensure otherwise. “Two briefings on the Kashmir issue were held [at the Security Council] and their summary was that whatever Pakistan was saying [about Indian atrocities] carries weight,” he said.
The foreign minister said PM that Imran had told President Trump during their meeting at Davos about the adverse effects of a confrontation between two nuclear powers. He said that the prime minister had informed the US president about the “complexities” of the Kashmir issue and urged Trump and the UN to intervene for a solution.
The prime minister was very clear, he did not mince any words,” he said, referring to PM Imran’s meeting with Trump in which the two global leaders discussed the Kashmir issue. “PM Imran informed him about the dangers that the world faced if two nuclear powers confronted each other,” he added.
Qureshi reminded the media that 175 days have lapsed since the region has been under lockdown by Indian authorities. “This message (campaign) is not just for Pakistanis but for those across the Line of Control (LoC) who continue to remain under a communication lockdown,” he added.
“Despite the Supreme Court of India’s decision, they have illegally suspended internet services,” he said.
He further said that Pakistan wishes to let Kashmiris know that the people of the country continue to stand by them.