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Diplomacy

PM Imran warns Modi against action in AJK

‘Every brick will be countered with a stone’.


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Updated: August 15, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly on Wednesday, warned Indian premier Narendra Modi that any action by India in Pakistan would be countered with a stronger response.

Agreeing with the AJK prime minister, Raja Farooq Haider, who in his speech in the AJK parliament had said India would also look to create trouble in Pakistan after Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran said: “This will not stop in Kashmir — this hate-filled ideology will come towards Pakistan.”

“We have information and we have had two National Security Committee (NSC) meetings. The Pakistan Army has full knowledge that India has made a plan to take action in AJK,” he shared in his address during what was his first visit to the region since becoming the prime minister in 2018. “Like the action they took in Balakot after Pulwama, according to our information, they have made a more horrendous plan now.

“To shift the world’s focus away from occupied Kashmir, they want to take action in AJK.”

PM Imran Khan addresses the AJK legislative assembly on Wednesday. — AP

Addressing Indian Prime Minister Modi, the premier said: “This is my message to you: you take action and every brick will be countered with a stone.”

“The Army is prepared; not just the Army but the entire nation will fight alongside our military. Aggressive war is against Islam, but when Muslims have fought for the sake of freedom, they have defeated the biggest armies.

“We will be ready, we will respond to whatever you do — we will go till the end.”

‘Modi has made a strategic blunder’

The prime minister reached Muzaffarabad earlier today as part of the government’s decision to observe this year’s Independence Day in solidarity with Kashmiris in light of India’s move to annex occupied Kashmir.

“On the day of Pakistan’s independence, I am with my Kashmiri brothers and sisters,” he said at the outset of his address.

The premier said that in a series of tweets, he had unveiled the “real face of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the world”.

Pakistani and Indian troops take part in a flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah border. — DawnnewsTV

“There is a terrifying ideology in front of us today — the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) party’s ideology, which Modi has been a member of from childhood.

“In this ideology, like with the Nazis, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from India was also included. If you understand this ideology, a lot of things can be understood.

“Quaid-i-Azam rose above a person’s religion; he was thinking about every person’s independence after the British left.

“In the past five years, the cruelty in occupied Kashmir was due to this ideology. This card [revoking Article 370] played by Narendra Modi was the final solution,” he said, referring to India’s move to downgrade occupied Kashmir’s status.

Explainer: What India’s change to occupied Kashmir’s status means

“We are all fearful about what we will find out once the curfew is lifted in occupied Kashmir. What are they attempting to do?

“Narendra Modi has made a strategic blunder. He has played his final card. They have internationalised Kashmir. It used to be very hard to speak about Kashmir.

“Now the world’s eye is on Kashmir and on Pakistan […] I will be the ambassador who raises Kashmir’s voice.”

‘Terrifying ideology’

“We need to inform the world of RSS’s ideology,” stressed the premier. “After 1945, the United Nations, the Geneva Convention were created. The world decided that this should never happen in the world again. The world doesn’t know that the RSS ideology is as dangerous [as Nazi ideology].

“A normal person cannot make the type of statements being made about the women of Kashmir,” said Prime Minister Imran.

Read more: Activists condemn men’s remarks about marrying Kashmiri women

“This [RSS] ideology has undermined the constitution of India. They [BJP government] have controlled the media. Opposition leaders are speaking with fear.

“RSS thugs do not let people attend conferences, judges are scared of them. This used to happen in Nazi Germany.

“Intellectuals are scared of speaking about the government. They [BJP] are taking India towards destruction. People are living in fear in India.”

Speaking of Kashmiri leaders, he said those who used to be pro-India, such as Farooq Abdullah, are now in agreement with Quaid-i-Azam’s two-nation theory.

Prime Minister Imran said that Modi had declared that his government would bring prosperity to Kashmir by revoking Article 370, likening it to how Adolf Hitler used to speak when attacking Russia.

“By sending more troops, by closing down communications, Modi is bringing ‘prosperity’.

“Listen to the speeches of Jawaharlal Nehru, the promises he made to Kashmiris — they have all been rejected.”

‘International community will be responsible if war takes place’

“Our message to international organisations that were formed to prevent wars is that if this war takes place, you will be responsible,” declared the prime minister.

He said that the whole world, including the entire Muslim population in the world, was looking towards the United Nations.

“You will see the numbers in which the public will come out during the United Nations General Assembly in September.”

“Whatever was done during the curfew by India, we will tell the international community that you are responsible. Whichever forum we get, I will be the ambassador and bring up Kashmir at every forum,” he said, adding: “God willing, after this final card that Modi has played, now Kashmir will go towards independence.”

He reiterated that war does not solve anything, only leads to further problems. The premier said his government, when it came into power, tried its best to bring India to the dialogue table “because our issues are the same”.

“But they have no interest [in dialogue]; their interest is only to ‘teach Pakistan a lesson’. They are filled with hate.”

‘Thank the Quaid for Pakistan’

“In the end, I want to pay tribute to Quaid-i-Azam,” said the premier. “The whole nation is indebted to him. Today, we are living in an independent country. He knew he didn’t have long to live because of his illness but he didn’t let anyone find out and negotiated till the end.

“We thank him, honour him and pledge that Pakistan was made for a purpose. What were we supposed to do with this free country? To become an example […] to model ourselves after the state of Madina.

“Those in Pakistan who covert people to Islam by force, like the RSS does with Hinduism, they are going against Islam. Our religion is not racist, it is not narrow-minded — and that was the purpose of Pakistan.”

‘Time has come to teach Modi a lesson’

Prime Minister Imran ended his speech by addressing Modi again: “Don’t be under any misconception; you think Kashmiris will accept defeat because you passed a law but they have become battle-hardened. Their fear is gone. We saw that they came out on the streets, from whatever little we could see on BBC; only a brave nation can come out this way.

“Modi, you can’t enslave Kashmiris and as for your plan in AJK to teach Pakistan a lesson, be ready, I repeat that we will counter your brick with a stone.

“The time has come for us to teach you a lesson,” warned the premier.

Kashmir Solidarity Day

Upon arrival in Muzaffarabad, the premier was received by AJK’s President Sardar Masood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider. He received a guard of honour at the welcome ceremony.

The premier is expected to meet the AJK chapter leaders for the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC).

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto arrived separately in the AJK capital on Sunday night to celebrate Eidul Azha as a show of support to the Kashmiri people.

Read: Qureshi, Bilawal spend Eidul Azha in AJK to show solidarity with Kashmiri people

The decision to dedicate Independence Day to the Kashmiris and their “just struggle for their right of self-determination” was made during a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, two days after occupied Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its autonomous status by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India.

It was also decided that August 15, India’s day of independence, will be observed as Black Day in protest against the ongoing Indian atrocities, blatant human rights violations and imposition of curfew in occupied Kashmir.



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Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

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