Won’t let you down, Imran assures Kashmiris


–PM says Kashmir issue internationalised after 50 years, asks global powers to intervene 

–Says Pakistan will answer every brick with a stone

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said due to the efforts of his government the Kashmir issue has been internationalised for the first time in 50 years and that he would leave no stone unturned at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session to highlight the Indian atrocities in the region.

The prime minister was addressing a rally in Azad Kashmir to express solidarity with Kashmiri people, who have been under lockdown for over 40 days after India scrapped the state’s special status by abrogating Article 370.

“The European Union, for the first time, said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per UN resolutions,” the PM said, adding the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also urged India should lift curfew in Kashmir.

“More than 40 MPs in Britain raised the Kashmir issue. I am happy that US senators wrote a letter to President Donald Trump and urged him to intervene in the matter.”

He also urged the international community to play its due role in stopping Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from using force against Kashmiris, getting the curfew lift, and letting the people of Kashmir decide their fate through a referendum.

“Kashmir issue today is a humanitarian problem,” he said, calling out Modi for unleashing a reign of terror in the held Kashmir.

At least 900,000 Indian soldiers are committing atrocities against the people of occupied Kashmir, he said, adding only a coward can commit such violence against fellow human beings.

“A brave man can never do this. No matter how much injustice you commit, you will never succeed,” he warned.

“What message are you giving to the Muslims of India? That you will live here like second-class citizens, like animals?” he questioned.

“You are telling them that you can oppress people in a Muslim-majority region by deploying 900,000 soldiers who blind kids, mistreat women and the elderly?”

“1.2 billion Muslims are looking at Kashmir. They will be pushed towards extremism as well. Islam means peace, we are peaceful people. But when you see that your people are being mistreated and the world is quiet, you react,” Imran said, warning a potential rise in extremism across the Islamic world.

Speaking about India’s blame-game in Kashmir, the prime minister said Pakistan was accused of orchestrating Pulwama suicide bombing because India didn’t want to tell the world about its barbaric practices in Kashmir, which are making Kashmiris turn towards extremism.

“They blamed us and sent in their jet. Our air force then brought down their plane and captured their pilot. We returned him because we wanted to solve issues through dialogue.”

After we returned the pilot, Indian claimed it was out of fear; however, “believers do not fear death, we did not return the pilot because we are scared of you”.

“They have started to [paint this narrative] again that Pakistan is sending militants. I have said this before; we will answer every brick with a stone.”

“I urge the international community to stop this Indian Hitler.”

“We want this issue to be solved in accordance with UN resolutions. Through a referendum, Kashmiris should have the right to choose whatever they want. We will support the Kashmiris’ choice.”

Addressing the youth of Azad Kashmir while concluding his speech, Prime Minister Imran said: “I know you want to advance towards the Line of Control, but don’t go until I tell you. First, let me go to the United Nations and fight Kashmir’s case.”

The gathering was announced by Imran in a tweet that a “big jalsa” was in order to “send a message to the world about the continuing siege of [Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir] IoJK by Indian Occupation forces; [and] to show the Kashmiris that Pakistan stands resolutely with them”.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at his address said that while residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have access to news and internet, occupied Kashmir was under lockdown and a communications blackout.

He demanded that Indian premier Modi lift the curfew and challenged him to hold a rally like the one being held in Muzaffarabad and address the residents of occupied Kashmir.

“The prime minister of Pakistan is addressing AJK people in public in Muzaffarabad. Modi, I challenge you, can you go to Srinagar and address people like this?”AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider thanked the people and government of Pakistan for their support.

A number of celebrities and singers including Shehzad Roy, Faakhir Mehmood, Javaid Shaikh, Humayun Saeed and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afirid then riled up the crowd. Faakhir and Sahir Ali Bagga also performed.