Democratic rulers can serve the Kashmir cause better, says Bilawal


–PPP chief says PM Imran lacks ‘moral authority’ to speak out against injustices

–Demands government to pay attention to the problems of the people of GB

SKARDU: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan lacks the moral authority to speak out against the injustices being committed against the Kashmiris when he is involved in undermining democracy in Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference in Skardu, the PPP chief said that while there is no difference between the two cases, Pakistan would have been in a better position to fight for the Kashmiri cause if there was a “third democratically-elected government” in power instead of a “selected government”. He added that a democratically-elected prime minister can fight for the Kashmir cause in a better way.

Bilawal also said that while Pakistanis are observing the “historic injustice” against the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and they know that the Indian premier is a murderer, they cannot forget that “PM Imran does not have the capability of legitimacy for providing due rights to the people of IOK and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). The PPP chief said that he raises voice against Indian occupation in Kashmir at every forum and carefully observes the reaction of the people, which enabled him to develop this perspective.

“How can the premier talk about injustices and restrictions on press freedom in IOK when ‘historic’ media restrictions are being imposed in Pakistan?” he asked. “How can he question the violation of human rights and democracy in the occupied valley when he himself has restricted human rights in Pakistan and is responsible for the funeral of democracy in the country?” he further asked.

Bilawal further said that the people of GB have observed how the premier is attacking human rights and democracy in Pakistan. He added that a ruler who has “snatched” the rights of people cannot give the people of GB their due rights.  The PPP chairman said only a “real leader” can grant the people of GB their rights and raise voice against the injustices being committed against the Kashmiris.

Talking about Indian government’s move to send back top opposition leaders, including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, when they landed in Srinagar on Saturday, he said that what is the government hiding from the people when they claim that they are transparently ‘granting rights’ to the people of the held valley. “If what Indian government is doing is right, why did they stop the opposition leader from observing things in Srinagar?” he asked.

Bilawal said that he had observed Eidul Azha in Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) as it was very important to send a message of unity to the world. “When I reached Muzzafarabad, my aunt Faryal Talpur was ‘illegally’ shifted from a hospital to jail, leading us to wonder whether the government was trying to antagonise us,” he said, adding that his party has been a victim of this sort of treatment in the past and knows how to face it.

Bilawal demanded that the incumbent government should pay attention to the problems of people of GB as the PPP government had done in the past. “We feel like we are leading while being the opposition whereas the government is currently playing the role of the opposition,” he concluded.