February 2021 News

PDM Leaders Blame Imran For 'losing' Kashmir To India

5 February 2021
Express Tribune


Islamabad: Leaders of opposition parties, under the umbrella of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), blamed the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan for the revocation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir's (IIOJK) special status by the right-wing Indian government of Narendra Modi. Speaking at a public rally in Muzzafarabad on Friday, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz said: 'Imran Khan had lost the case for Kashmir'. 'I want to ask you [Imran] what message do you bring for the people of Kashmir? Do you bring the message of handing over Kashmir to Modi, or, do you bring the message that you have lost the case of the Kashmiris?' Maryam, continuing her criticism of the premier, said whenever Kashmir will be mentioned or discussed, 'Imran Khan would be seen as the criminal'. 'It is the responsibility of the incumbent government to safeguard national interests, even if that government has been selected and is a fraud,' the PML-N leader said as she continued to heap criticism on the PTI-led government. She added that the black spot of losing Kasmir to India will be forever present on PTI's record. 'Their foreign policy was two-minutes of silence after Modi took over Kashmir, that is what Imran did.' She also criticised statements made earlier by the prime minister after his maiden trip to Washington and the meeting with then-president Donald Trump. Referring to the upcoming Senate elections, Maryam alleged that 'show of hands' is being pushed by the prime minister as 'he sees his members slipping away'. 'Always remember, a government is not accountable to the people if it steals their mandate.' JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, addressing the rally, urged the people of Kashmir to 'reject' the PTI government in the upcoming AJK elections. 'Today, I want to say something to you. Listen to it intently. We rejected the 2018 elections. This is a rigged government. We will not accept the rigging in the Gilgit-Baltistan elections and now they [this government] are preparing to rig the upcoming AJK elections,' he said. The JUI-F further called upon the participants to be wary of candidates who switch loyalties from their parties to the PTI before the AJK elections. 'Those who join the PTI for the elections will be considered the traitors of Kashmir, and will not be given votes,' Fazl asserted. Speaking of India's annexation of occupied Kashmir in August 2019, the PDM president observed that not only will India's unilateral action be rejected but, 'we will, hopefully, also wage a war to have the action reversed'. 'What has this government given to Pakistan that it will give to Kashmir?' Fazl asked, warning the rally's participants of election the PTI government in the upcoming elections. 'This government will ruin Kashmir,' he added. Fazl concluded his speech expressing hope that Kashmir will win freedom and will become a part of Pakistan. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, taking the podium after the JUI-F chief, said 'we will fight a 1,000 years for the freedom of Kashmir'. 'It is unfortunate that a country that saw a prime minister like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the first woman prime minister of the Muslim world, Benazir Bhutto, is being run by a 'puppet prime minister',' the party chairman stated. Bilawal blamed Prime Minister Imran Khan of being helpless following the Indian annexation of Kashmir. 'Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly following the annexation, all this prime minister had to say was 'What can I do?' Bilawal said. 'Where past Pakistani prime ministers are remembered for their historic speeches given over the Kashmir issue, this reply is what the history will remember the incumbent prime minister for,' he added. The PPP chairman went on to say that if Pakistan is to respond to Modi's fascism, it will have to do through a powerful prime minister and not a 'puppet prime minister'. 'If we have to defeat Modi, we will need a democratic government, not a 'selected' government', he went on to add. Referring to the presidential ordinance regarding providing consular access and reviewing and reconsidering the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jahav, Bilawal accused PM Imran of trying to play representative to Indian spy instead of being the ambassador of Kashmir. Bilawal said the PPP continues to stand with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's slogan of referendum [in Kashmir], while blaming the incumbent government of following the governance example set by Gen Pervez Musharraf. Furthermore, encouraging people to reach Islamabad next month, Bilawal said that, 'It has been decided in Islamabad that a long march will be held on March 26. And you will also reach Islamabad from Kashmir.' Further riling up the audience against PM Imran, the PPP chairman said that, 'This puppet government that keeps repeating the mantra of 'same page', is basically on the same page with Modi'. 'We also compete with each other as political parties in this country, but we also keep in mind the country's cultural ethos,' he said while slamming the PTI government for arresting Maryam Nawaz and his aunt, Faryal Talpur - in separate incidents. 'We will never stoop as low as this government, who is doing exactly what Modi does to his opponents,' Bilawal added. Concluding his speech, the PPP chairman stated that despite the circumstances, 'we will fight together to rid this country of this government. And we will win!'

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