–PM Imran says India committed a strategic blunder by revoking occupied Kashmir’s autonomy
–President Alvi equates attempts to change Kashmir’s demography with Israeli settlements
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday reaffirmed commitment to Kashmir’s freedom as the entire nation and people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir valley observed Youm-e-Istehsal to mark the one-year anniversary of revocation of the disputed territory’s autonomy by the Indian government.
Addressing a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Assembly in Muzaffarabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Narendra Modi-led Indian government committed a strategic blunder last year on August 5 by abrogating articles of the Indian Constitution that guaranteed autonomy to Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
He said that Modi won the election in the neighboring country on the basis of hatred against Pakistan and the Hindutva card, adding that revocation of Kashmir’s special status was part of Modi’s election agenda, which he implemented after securing a second term. “Modi was hesitant to revoke the special status of IOK in his last tenure,” he said.
He said that the Indian prime minister’s move to abrogating Kashmir’s constitutional status was based on four assumptions: the Hindus would be pleased with this move; Pakistan would remain silent on India’s action; world powers would not challenge his move; the people of Kashmir would not retaliate and would be subdued by the use of force and massive troop deployment in the occupied territory.
He also said that India had falsely presumed that by deploying 800,000 troops in the occupied territory, spreading terror through the RSS terrorists, and putting innocent people behind bars, the Kashmiri people would become silent. “Modi committed a strategic blunder and failed because Pakistan did not remain silent on the Indian move and the atrocities being committed against the Kashmiri people,” he added.
PM Imran said that he personally took important world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron, into confidence over the Kashmir situation and effectively used the media to expose Modi’s fascist policies, which are similar to the ideology of the Nazis.
He said that Pakistan’s campaign in the media and taking the world leaders into confidence had resulted in Kashmir becoming the focal point of the world. Due to the effective campaign, the European Parliament and the British Parliament hold discussions on the Kashmir issue, and the Pakistani diaspora also holds demonstrations to highlight the Kashmir cause, he added.
The premier said that due to his government’s effective policies, Indian occupation forces could not commit atrocities on the Kashmiri people like they originally wanted to. He said that the western media used to portray India as a better country than Pakistan but during the last year, Pakistan’s image has improved due to the effective policies of the incumbent government.
He also said that India’s designs in Kashmir have failed to break the spirit of the people of local people and they have become more resilient and valiant in the face of heightened restrictions and atrocities.
PM Imran assured the people of Kashmir and the lawmakers that his government will raise the issue of Kashmir at every forum. He said that now no pro-Indian Kashmiri leader can be successful because there is resentment among Kashmiris. He added that the pro-India Kashmiri leaders Farooq Abdullah have now become convinced that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was right and that they were deceived.
He further said that the situation in the IOK will further deteriorate as Indians have been trapped in the blind alley.
The premier said that the opposition’s march against the government and the coronavirus pandemic created hurdles in the government’s efforts to highlight the Kashmir cause but the government is committed to continuing to highlight the issue.
Talking about the release of the new political map of Pakistan, he said that it is an important step and is aimed at telling the world that Kashmir is a disputed territory and its fate is yet to be decided according to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. He also said that it was imperative to release the map to counter India as it has shown Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) as part of its territory. He added that the new political map will educate the youngsters about the true status of Kashmir.
PM Imran announced that a renowned Kashmiri leader will be honored and decorated with Nishan-e-Pakistan. He said that those nations which never accept defeat cannot be defeated.
During his visit to Muzaffarabad, the premier also inaugurated the ‘Resistance Wall’ in memory of the oppressed Kashmiris. He also participated in a solidarity walk along with the AJK president and prime minister and others to commemorate one year of the military siege of IOK.
Earlier in the day, in his message on Youm-e-Istehsal, PM Imran said that Pakistan will always stand with its brothers and sisters in the IOK until they get the right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the United Nations (UN) as per the relevant UNSC resolutions.
INDIA FOLLOWING ISRAEL’S MODEL:
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi lashed out at New Delhi for stripping the disputed Muslim-majority region of its semi-autonomous status, declaring that “India has learned how to change the demography from Israel”.
Addressing a rally taken out in Islamabad to demonstrate Pakistan’s resolve in the face of state aggression in the region which Pakistan claims in full, President Alvi said, “India’s high-ups made many promises to Kashmiris and Pakistan but none of those promises were fulfilled.”
“They signed the Simla Agreement  with us in which it was decided that [both countries] will hold bilateral dialogue, but to date, India has refused to hold talks. Whenever the issue was raised on multilateral forums, India made excuses saying that it was a bilateral issue but they are not ready to talk,” he said.
He also said that Pakistan did not accept Article 370 — which provided special status to the occupied region — originally as well because “we want the independence of Kashmir since it is not part of India”. Modi’s government, he lamented, repealed the law and changed Article 35(a) last year.
“If, over the past year, Kashmiris had appreciated the move [of repealing the region’s special status], India would not have to impose a lockdown in [occupied Kashmir],” President Alvi declared.
He stressed that the Pakistan government had always striven for peace. Even after India violated Pakistani airspace on the “false reaction on Pulwama” blast, Pakistan returned the captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan “to show to the world and India that we want peace, not war”.
The president demanded the UNSC, where resolutions have been passed regarding the Kashmir issue, to fulfill its promises.
He further said that the press should be given free access to Indian occupied Kashmir. “If the situation is peaceful then press should have complete freedom to report from the occupied region,” he added. He also demanded that the changes introduced by the Indian government against the Geneva Convention and UN rules should be withdrawn.
He also appealed to the international community and world bodies, including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to take note of the barbaric actions of the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir. He assured that Pakistan will continue peaceful efforts for the Kashmir cause.
The demonstration was attended by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi among other senators and officials.