Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi made a “historic blunder” by revoking special status for Jammu and Kashmir and in doing so, he opened the way to Kashmir’s “freedom”.
Khan made an address to the nation on the Kashmir issue and claimed “victory” on the diplomatic front.
“We won on the diplomatic front; we internationalized the Kashmir issue, talked to heads of states, their embassies (and) the UN Security Council called a session on Kashmir for the first time since 1965. We also kept raising this for the international media to report and they picked this up.”
He said the scrapping of Article 370, stripping Kashmir of its special status, gave a message that India was only for the Hindus. He said the world was anxiously awaiting to find out the truth, once the curfew was lifted.
‘Come out of homes to express solidarity’
In his televised address to the nation, the Pakistani prime minister said the whole nation and its government would go to the last extent to support the oppressed Kashmiris.
“We will go to every extent will stand with the Kashmiris till the last breath,” he said, adding “I ask every Pakistani to come out of their homes, offices, workplaces every week for half an hour and on the upcoming Friday from 1200 noon to 1230, to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.”
Peaceful ties with neighbour part of policy
He said it was the policy of his government to have peaceful relations with other countries, including India and Afghanistan.
“I told India we would take two steps forward if they took one. Our main issue is Kashmir. But every time we brought up dialogue with India, they diverted from the issue and levelled allegations against Pakistan.”
More on Kashmir
He said his government came into power with the pledge to have good relations with all its neighbours as it believed that better ties were vital for uplifting their people from poverty, unemployment and to address shared issues of climate change and environment. But every peace move taken by Pakistan, was frustrated by India with leveling of unfounded allegations.
After the Pulwama incident and Indian moves to get Pakistan blacklisted through Financial Action Task Force (FATF), his government had decided not to hold any further dialogue with India, he added.
He said that both Pakistan and India were nuclear nations. “No one will win a nuclear war, but its impact will be felt globally.”
Will raise Kashmir issue at UN General Assembly
Khan said that he would raise the Kashmir issue during the UN General Assembly on September 27 and meet world leaders in New York.
“First, I believe, the entire nation should stand with the Kashmiri ‘awam’. I have said this that I will act as Kashmir’s ambassador. I will raise the issue with heads of state and international media. I will tell them that this (Modi) is not an ordinary government but one which follows a dangerous ideology,” he said.
Khan said: “I read in newspapers that people are disappointed that Muslim countries are not siding with Kashmir. I want to tell you not to be disappointed; if some countries are not raising this issue because of their economic interests, they will eventually take this issue up. They will have to, with time.
“The western media has never criticized India as much as it is doing right now. I want to tell the Kashmiri people that whether the world stands with them or not, Pakistan will,” he said.
His speech came as US President Donald Trump met Modi at the G7 in France and said that the Indian leader has told him the Kashmir situation was “under control” and that both neighbours can settle their issues on their own.