Kashmir will decide its own future: PM Khan


Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing a rally in Azad Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad on Indian atrocities across the border.

The rally is being held at University Ground to highlight the plight of Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir. The premier announced the rally on Twitter and said it would send “a message to the world about the continuing siege of Kashmir by Indian occupation forces”. He said it is also to show Kashmiris that Pakistan stands resolutely with them.

The Indian side of the valley has been under curfew since August 5, when India revoked Article 370 of its constitution and the special rights it had previously granted to Kashmir.

A number of celebrities are attending the rally. These include Javed Sheikh, Humayun Saeed, Fakhir, Maya Ali, Hareem Farooq, Shahid Afridi and Shehzad Roy.

The rally

Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur addressed the rally and saluted the people of Kashmir and the rest of Pakistan. He said he is thankful to everyone for raising their voice for Kashmir. Modi has turned Kashmir into a jail for the past 40 days, he said, vowing that Kashmir will get its freedom soon.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said PM Khan has come to Kashmir to stand with the people and to tell the world that he stands with the people of Kashmir. I would like to ask Modi, can he speak to the people of Kashmir like Imran Khan, he demanded. Does he have that much power to talk with the people, if yes then lift the curfew and see, he said.

Qureshi said there are no political prisoners in Azad Kashmir. The world is raising points that in Azad Kashmir people have access to TV, media, social media and the internet but the same cannot be said in occupied Kashmir, he said. The question is, why is everything cut off in occupied Kashmir, asked the minister.

People are asking why there are 10,000 Indian army personnel deployed in Kashmir, he said. 

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said he is grateful to the people of Pakistan for supporting Kashmir and standing by them like rocks. We will keep fighting for Kashmir, he vowed. He added that the people of occupied Kashmir want to break the Line of Control and come to Azad Kashmir.

Haider appealed to Qureshi not to accept any two-way dialogue from India. It’s a trap, he said. It is to eliminate the status quo and the rights of Kashmiris, he accused, adding that it is Pakistan’s responsibility to speak for the rights of Kashmiris living on both sides of the border.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech

PM Khan said he became the ambassador of Kashmiri people because he is Muslim, Pakistani and a human being. Kashmir’s issue is a human right issue, he said. 

For the past 40 days, our people have been under curfew, and, Modi, I tell you this today, that only a coward attacks innocent people. “Modi is a coward,” he said. Only a coward attacks women and children, he added. 

He said this is Modi’s “RSS mentality”. I want to send the message, that no matter how cruel you are, you will never success in Kashmir, said the PM. “Because now Kashmir doesn’t fear death.”

They have stood like rocks in front of you, he told Modi. He added that Modi had been a member of the RSS since he was a child. The RSS is anti-Muslim and every other religion, he warned. They want to take revenge against Muslims because we ruled over them in the past, said PM Khan, adding that this anger is why they are acting up today.

This is the reason I have taken up the responsibility of being the ambassador for the Kashmir cause, he said.

The RSS’ role model is Hitler and the Nazi party and they follow his ideology of ethnic cleansing of Muslims, said PM Khan, warning that this will backfire and Kashmir will get its freedom.

Now the world knows what’s happening in Kashmir, he said. The UN talked about Kashmir after 50 years, which is a huge achievement, he said, adding that the EU also did. Eighteen countries backed Pakistan and want India to lift its curfew, he said, adding that the OIC also wants this. The British parliament has also taken up the issue.

Next week I will go the UN General Assembly next week and I will not let the Kashmiri people down, vowed PM Khan. I will take a stand for Kashmir like no other person, he said, vowing to talk about it in the international media. 

I would like to tell India that people are ready to fight against Indian brutality, he said. He said eight million Kashmiris are under lockdown and it is making people even more furious and even more eager to fight. You are pushing people towards extremism, he warned.

India is sending a message to the world that there is no place for Muslims in India or occupied Kashmir, he said. Children are being attacked and blinded with pellet guns, he said. When you marginalize people, they turn towards radicalization, said PM Khan.

We Muslims are peaceful but when we see such brutalities we won’t stay quiet and we will retaliate, he warned. We even returned India’s pilot because we don’t want war, he said. We want peace and to sort the matter out by talking, he said.

But India and their media said that Pakistan only returned their pilot because we are scared. He warned India not to get the wrong message. We just want peace, he said, adding that Pakistan is not scared of anything. Just take the example of our air force, who shot down your plane, said the premier.

We will give due rights to the Kashmiri people through a referendum, vowed PM Khan. “They will decide their own future. Kashmir should be given to the right to their own freedom.”

I will fight the case of Kashmir, he said. PM Khan said he asked people not to cross the Line of Control and try to take the law into their own hands. I will be your voice and fight till my last breath, he said.

Pakistan will reply to any aggression by India with even more force, he warned.