Pakistan seeks peaceful Kashmir resolution

Paying tributes to the people of Kashmir for their heroic struggle and sacrifices, he said there were no two opinions about their courageousness, resilience and determination.

TARIQ NAQASH
Muzaffarabad, Publish Date: Feb 6 2018 12:12AM | Updated Date: Feb 6 2018 12:12AM
Pakistan seeks peaceful Kashmir resolutionFile Photo

Pakistan Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi on Monday reiterated that Islamabad's diplomatic, moral and political support to the cause of Kashmiris as well as assistance to Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) would continue without any break.

“Pakistan has always strived for a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue and it will continue its efforts in this regard,” he said, in his address to the special joint sitting of the PaK Legislative Assembly and the PaK Council, held here to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day.

“Pakistan has never felt that it and Kashmir are two separate entities… The hearts of the people of Pakistan and Kashmir throb together. The centuries old bond of love between us will remain alive forever,” he added.

Paying tributes to the people of Kashmir for their heroic struggle and sacrifices, he said there were no two opinions about their courageousness, resilience and determination.

“There has not been a slightest discontinuance in their struggle because they have elders like Ali Geelani and youngsters like BurhanWani,” he said.

“Our unity will strengthen them. But even if we stay disunited, they will continue their mission. And India and [Narendra] Modi government realize this fully. India knows it has employed each and every tactic to suppress the Kashmiris but to no avail,” he said and stressed on the need for helping Kashmiris and advocating their cause “with consensus and cohesion.”

Of Indian shelling along the LoC, Abbasi said the federal government would extend whatever possible help to the victims, including provision of funds for construction of bunkers along the dividing line.

He said, over the past 70 years Kashmir always remained central to the policies of the State of Pakistan, whether there were political governments or dictatorships.

He said his leader Nawaz Sharif was also a Kashmiri and he had never seen him say or do anything that compromised his commitment to Kashmir.

“I would say all leaders were and are united on Kashmir,” he said.

He also referred to the ongoing war at the western borders, which he said had engaged 200,000 Pakistani troops besides claiming 6500 lives.

“Where the whole world failed, Pakistan’s valiant troops gained success there.”

The prime minister also suggested that Kashmiri leadership should utilise and mobilise the diaspora, which in turn could prove a big force for Kashmir issue.

“The diaspora have resources as well as commitment.  You have to provide them leadership and the leadership will come from this house, regardless of the divide.”

Referring to 2016 elections to PaK assembly, he asserted that the PML-N government in centre had not interfered or influenced the polls, in contrast to the practice by its predecessors.

“When we came to power we were under pressure to send the then PPP government in Muzaffarabad packing, but we didn’t agree. Mian Nawaz Sharif himself decided that we will let it complete its term, in accordance with its mandate,” he said.

He maintained that PaK government and opposition were under an obligation to concentrate and have consensus on two issues.

“First is to provide model governance so that people get their problems addressed at their doorsteps. Second is to maintain spirit on Kashmir, project the cause of Kashmir in all international forums and mobilise the diaspora.”

“Together you have to ensure such a good government and opposition that all Kashmiris should feel proud of you.

He assured that PaK would get whatever resources it needed from the centre for development or any other programme.

In this regard, he cited the doubling of OPaK’s development budget and “initiation of several stalled projects” in power and communications sector.

Referring to Mirpur-Mansehra-Muzaffarabad motorway, he said this project was included in China Pakistan Economic Corridor by Nawaz Sharif and would prove to be a milestone for development of PaK.

“This project is for generations [to come],” he said.

Earlier, at the outset of proceedings the joint session, which was presided over by LA speaker Shah GhulamQadir, saw some unpleasant moments when opposition leaders complained of “discriminatory treatment” by the PaK government.

Due to this the prime minister’s focused much of his extempore speech to the need of unity and solidarity.

“I know many of you. The chairs you are occupying today were once held by leaders like Sardar Ibrahim, KH Khurshid and SardarQayyum who had set very strong traditions which you people have to maintain and strengthen,” he said.

“Bickering in the parliament is a common practice. I have spent considerable time in opposition and can understand the feelings and psychology of opposition but when it comes to Kashmir you have to show complete unity to successfully fight the forces obstructing our journey to freedom,” he said.

“I think 364 days are enough for politics but on this solidarity day we should be united. Because you are not alone; 207 million Pakistanis are with you,” he added.

Abbasi warned PaK leaders that division among them would impair Kashmir issue and that they should not drag their differences to an extent that they start doubting each other’s intentions on Kashmir.

He maintained that the politicians in Pakistan also differed from each other and sometimes the antagonism towards the government would even cross the limits.

 

FOUNDATION STONE:

Prime Minister Abbasi performed groundbreaking of Legislative Assembly complex to be constructed under the federal ministry of Kashmir affairs in three years. He also inaugurated 23-km long Muzaffarabad-Pirchinasi road, constructed by the PaK Council in three and a quarter years.

 

HUMAN CHAINS:

Earlier in the morning, one-minute silence was observed at 10 a.m. Prior to that, symbolic human chains were formed by the Kashmiris and Pakistanis at several points linking PaK with Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

JamaatiIslami held a public meeting here at Bank Road while PML-N held a huge public meeting in K H Khurshid Mini Stadium, with Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Safdar as the key speakers.

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