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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged the international community to take notice of Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir, and promised to raise the Kashmir issue at next week's UN General Assembly session. In a fiery speech at University Ground to show solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir, he categorically said that India will not succeed in its nefarious motives to suppress the Kashmiris as they've overcome the fear of death.
Khan vowed to highlight the plight of oppressed and suppressed people of Occupied Kashmir at forthcoming session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). A mammoth rally was held in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, to show solidarity with people of Occupied Kashmir who have been under curfew for over 40 days after India moved to annex the territory on August 5.
Addressing the gathering, which was also attended by people from different cities of the country, PM Khan said: "The reason I have become an ambassador of Kashmiris is because I'm a Pakistani, I'm a Muslim and above all I'm a human being, and the issue of Kashmir is humanitarian."
Taking a jibe at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, "Only a coward man [like Modi] can commit such cruelty against human beings. Today 900,000 Indian soldiers are committing atrocities against the people of Occupied Kashmir." In the same breath, he continued that a brave man can never do what Modi has been doing, adding, "No matter how much injustice you commit, you will never succeed in your nefarious motives to suppress the people of Kashmir as they [Kashmiris] - be it women, children or the elderly - are not scared of death anymore."
Declaring Modi an enemy of humanity, the Prime Minister said that Modi has been a lifelong member of extremist RSS since his childhood. It's, therefore, no secret that the world is aware of his hatred against Muslims, Christians and other minorities, he added. "They [RSS] believe in Hindu supremacy and they hate Muslims because they ruled over India for [hundreds of] years. They are walking the same path of Hitler's Nazi party, which committed atrocities against minority groups," the PM said.
Since RSS was formed, he added, the people associated with the group have wanted an ethnic cleansing of Muslims i.e. to rid India of Muslims and this is all in accordance with their plan. "Today Kashmir has been internationalized. The UNSC held a meeting on Kashmir issue for the first time in 50 years. The European Union, for the first time, said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per UN resolutions. The OIC also said that India should lift curfew in Kashmir," he said.
He said that over 40 MPs in the UK raised the Kashmir issue and some US senators also wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to intervene in the matter. He reiterated that India must stop pushing people towards extremism, saying mistreatment of women, kids and one's family will leave a person with no option but to take the extreme step. "What message are you giving to the Muslims of India? That you will live here like second-class citizens, like animals?" he said.
He said that 1.2 billion Muslims are looking at Kashmir, adding if this remains the situation, the Muslims within India and elsewhere will be left with no option but to opt for extremism. "India blamed Pakistan when a Kashmiri youth blew himself up because they did not want to tell the world that it was because of the Indian government's brutality that Kashmiris are turning towards extremism.
"They blamed us and sent in their jet. Our air force then brought down their jets and captured their pilot. We returned him because we wanted to solve issues through dialogue. "They (India) said that we returned him because we got afraid. Believers do not fear death and we did not return the pilot because we are scared of you.
"They have started to paint [this narrative] again that Pakistan is sending militants. I have said this before; we will answer every brick with a stone. I urge the international community to stop this Indian Hitler." He said that Pakistan wants the issue of Kashmir to be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions. "Through a referendum, Kashmiris should have the right to choose whatever they want...we will support the Kashmiris' choice," he added.
Addressing the youth of Azad Kashmir while concluding his speech, Prime Minister Khan said: "I know you want to advance towards the Line of Control, but don't go until I tell you. First let me go to the United Nations and fight Kashmir's case." Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that people of AJK have access to news and internet, but their brethren in occupied Kashmir are under a lockdown and a communications blackout.
He challenged Indian Premier Modi to lift the curfew, hold a rally like the one being held in Muzaffarabad and address the residents of Occupied Kashmir. "The Prime Minister of Pakistan is addressing AJK people in Muzaffarabad. Modi, I challenge you, can you go to Srinagar and address people like this?" he added.
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider thanked the people and government of Pakistan for their support. "We don't know how our relatives in Occupied Kashmir are doing," he said, adding, "Do not get entangled in the bilateral dialogue narrative because that undermines the Kashmir issue."
The Prime Minister Khan was accompanied by the foreign minister, Senator Faisal Javed, Special Assistant to the PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, Defense Minister Pervez Khattak and Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, among others. A number of celebrities including Shehzad Roy, Faakhir Mehmood, Javaid Sheikh, Humayun Saeed and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi made the crowd excited. Faakhir and Sahir Ali Bagga also performed on the occasion.
Agencies add: Prime Minister Imran Khan branded his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi "cowardly" on Friday and promised to raise New Delhi's decision to strip occupied Jammu & Kashmir of its autonomy at next week's UN General Assembly session. "When you give a message to 200 million Indian Muslims that India is only for Hindus, you will push them to violence," he warned.
Thousands of people are believed to have been arrested in recent weeks by Indian authorities, while extra troops have been deployed to reinforce the 500,000 soldiers already stationed in one of the most militarised places on the planet. The crackdown has also spread fear among Kashmiris with families in the occupied Kashmir.
Earlier this week, Kashmiris from AJ&K who had been visiting family members in the Indian-administered part when the clampdown began told AFP how they had been stranded, caught in Delhi's security dragnet for weeks until authorities allowed them to go home. They were distraught at leaving their relatives behind to face an uncertain future.
"Nobody knows what will happen to them next... There is desperation among the people," Muhammad Sadiq, who went to Indian-occupied Kashmir to mourn the death of his brother, told AFP recently. "Our relatives are angry... They believe that India is becoming anti-Muslim. It wants to become a Hindu state."
The PM said India would suffer immensely by pursuing Hindu fascism as state agenda against Muslims and other minorities. The prime minister alarmed the world that the Kashmir issue, if remained unaddressed, would impact the entire world negatively. He said the resolution of Kashmir dispute rested with the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions that granted the Kashmiris the right to choose their fate through a plebiscite.
Pakistan, he said, would accept the decision of Kashmiris and stand with them whatever their choice could be. Imran Khan said the extremist mindset of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party could not crush the voice of Muslims of Kashmir whose courage had surpassed the fear of death. The prime minister mentioned that due to the Pakistan government's efforts, the international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and several human rights watch groups had taken up the Kashmir issue.
Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur thanked the people of all faiths from across Pakistan and abroad, the international community, and both the local and international media for exposing the Indian brutal face in held Kashmir. He said the whole nation would stand guard for protection of the rights of the Kashmiri people, who he hoped would soon get freedom.
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said the Kashmiris in the IOK had been facing humiliation and atrocities at the hands of occupation forces for decades. The 40-day siege had turned the occupied valley into world's biggest prison, he said and vowed to stand with the Kashmiris till they achieved their right to self-determination.
He said the Simla Agreement between Pakistan and India had lost its significance and announced to hold an international conference on Kashmir in near future. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf AJK President Barrister Sultan announced that the Kashmiris and the Pakistani community would hold a historic protest demonstration in New York when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would arrive there to address the UN General Assembly session.
He said by taking unilateral actions in the IOK, Narendra Modi would become 'India's Gorbachev' as he had committed a blunder in Kashmir which would ultimately result into his country's disintegration. Filmstar Javed Sheikh resolved that the whole Pakistani nation stood with the people of Kashmir till the success of their movement for right to self-determination.
Legendary cricketer Shahid Afridi said he would support every oppressed person in the world, whether in Kashmir or anywhere else. He asked as to why only the Muslims were being targeted across the globe and urged the Muslim world to get united against such atrocities. He appreciated the prime minister and his government for raising voice at international forums against the Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.
Filmstar Humayun Saeed said the Pakistani nation had always voiced against oppression anywhere in the world and they would also ensure the salvation of their Kashmiri brethren from the Indian barbarism. Earlier, singer Faakhir Mehmood warmed up the crowd with his song 'India Ja Ja Kashmir Say Nikal Ja' (India get out from Kashmir). The event concluded with music composer Sahir Ali Bagga singing a national song 'Pakistan Zindabad'.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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