Gilani Terms Kashmir Pakistan’s ‘jugular Vein’23 June 2011
Associated Press of Pakistan
Palandri: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday terming Kashmir “jugular vein of Pakistan” assured its people complete political, diplomatic and moral support.He was addressing a huge public gathering here at the Palandri Cadet College that was attended by large number of people, including women from the adjoining areas. Amidst slogans of “Jeay Bhutto” and “Charoon Soobon Ke Zanjeer Benazir - Benazir” Gilani directed that the thick bullet proof glass be removed.“I don’t like anything between me and my people,” Gilani said as the crowd loudly cheered, APP correspondent reported. Gilani said the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Kashmir issue have a deep relationship. He said like its Shaheed leaders, it would continue to internationalize the Kashmir issue and apprise the world about the gross human rights violations in the held part and seek their help in its resolution. “We will like to apprise the world that the people of Pakistan stand by their Kashmiri brethren and support their cause,” he said as the large gathering waved the PPP’s flags and cheered. The Prime Minister, who visited Bagh and Bhimber on Wednesday, told the gathering that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was fielding its candidates on every seat because it had the support of masses from across the country. He said the PPP had been contesting polls from the day it was created and had a wide support base. He, however, added that his party desired that all other political parties that earlier had no presence in Kashmir, may also join the democratic process and contest the general election. “We will let the people of Kashmir choose what leadership they like,” he said.He said it was the responsibility of the Federation to continue providing funds for the development projects and provision of basic facilities of life to the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). “It does not matter which party you opt. You may vote the candidate of your choice, but being the Chairman of AJK Council, it is my responsibility to continue to provide funds for your development, without any discrimination.” The Prime Minister promised to visit the area again and assured that he had noted the demands of people, which would be met. Gilani said Palandari was a historic place as the people of this area rendered numerous sacrifices for their liberation and for democracy. He said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on Nov 5, 1973 announced setting up of a cadet college here. He said it was the vision and philosophy of the late leader as he wanted to see progress of this area. Prime Minister Gilani said the large number of people of the area were serving in the Pakistan’s armed forces and rendering sacrifices for the country. Gilani said the PPP government had resolved long standing issues of the National Finance Commission Award and 18th Amendment. He said it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide resources for the development of AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA. He said the people of the area were facing several problems and assured that those would be addressed. Minister for Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo and AJK President Raja Zulqarnain Khan and former AJK prime minister Sardar Yaqoob accompanied Prime Minister Gilani. Barrister Sultan Mahmood in his remarks vowed to honour all the development pledges made by the Peoples Party and said the people of the area would see a visible change in their lives. He thanked the people for their overwhelming support to the party and said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto lived in their hearts. PPP leader Ch. Manzoor said the Pakistan Peoples Party had deep roots across the country, in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan and said it had a strong leadership that preferred to face jail terms instead of pleading for mercy or begging for an exile.