‘UN charter fully empowers Kashmiris to take up arms against occupation,’ says AJK premier
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Friday said that India had forcibly occupied Kashmir and its security personnel were the ones spreading terrorism in the valley.
“It is a war zone and the UN charter fully empowers the Kashmiris to take up arms against occupation,” said Haider while speaking at a news conference at the Prime Minister’s House in Muzaffarabad.
“The terrorists in Kashmir are the ones in uniform,” he said of the Indian forces, and expressed his gratitude to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for “exposing” India in this regard through a comprehensive resolution.
He went on to highlight the value with which Kashmiri people see Pakistan.
“For the Kashmiris, Pakistan is the most important country for being our advocate, our supporter, and our sympathiser. We always remain worried about its safety, stability, and integrity and do not want anyone to even cast an evil eye on our beloved country,” he said.
In response to a question, the AJK premier doubted Jaish-e-Muhammad’s (JeM) claim about the Pulwama attack, saying no Pakistan-based outfit had any connection with the incident.
“Whenever any incident occurs, it is a matter of routine for people to try to take its credit [by claiming responsibility] … Taking credit without rhyme or reason amounts to sabotaging the indigenous character of Kashmiris’ struggle,” he maintained.
Haider said Adil Dar, the alleged Pulwama suicide bomber, was a local boy who had been treated by Indian troops with contempt in the past and “this [attack] might have been done by that boy in retaliation”.
When asked to comment on the use of the word ‘terrorism’ for the Pulwama attack by some in Pakistan, the AJK premier responded: “People have poor word choices.”
“Someone described Pulwama as a tragedy and I am tempted to ask whether this is a tragedy or the death of around 400 Kashmiri youth.”
Take a look: Fear engulfs Muslims living in occupied Kashmir after Pulwama attack
Crackdown on banned outfits
The Kashmiri prime minister appreciated the crackdown on proscribed organisations across Pakistan and said his government was following suit.
“The steps to set our own house in order are felicitous and should have been taken earlier,” he said.
Stressing that Pakistan should be recognised as a peaceful country in the comity of nations, he said the use of power was the prerogative of the state and no individual or group should be allowed to exercise it.
Haider said what the PTI government was doing or “had to do” against the banned outfits was exactly what former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had been saying during his rule.
In response to a question, he said his government would follow similar measures if any such outfit, that the federal government believed was worth imposing restrictions on, existed in or operated from AJK.
“We will not allow any outfit or individual to create problems for the government of Pakistan,” he declared, without sharing details of the action taken so far in AJK.
However, separately, speaking at a media briefing in Mirpur on Friday, AJK’s recently appointed police chief Salahuddin Mehsud disclosed that “12 out of 13 targets had been sealed” in AJK over the last two days and the sole target left was located in a snowbound area.
“Without going into details, let me tell you that action is being taken,” the police chief concluded.
Speaking on other issues during his talk with reporters, Haider paid tribute to the armed forces of Pakistan for their preemptive measures which he said had left India bereft of any opportunity to launch aggression of any kind against Pakistan.
He said the armies could not fight without public support and the Indian army did not enjoy any support in Kashmir.
He warned that although the situation appears to have improved, India could not be trusted. “Narendra Modi is desperate to win elections and can go to any extent,” he added.
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He said that there was a difference between conflict management and conflict resolution.
“In conflict management between India and Pakistan, Kashmir goes into the background, whereas we want conflict resolution through the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.”
‘Ill-treatment of thrice-elected former premier’
Haider, who belongs to the PML-N, also took strong exception to what he called the ill-treatment of the thrice-elected former premier Sharif and demanded of the PTI-led government to employ all resources to ensure quality medical care for him. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan should intervene to ensure this.
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“It’s because Pakistan is in dire need of unity and solidarity, particularly when India has not left off its nefarious plans about our country,” he said.
“But how can such an atmosphere be created when the leadership of two major [opposition] parties is under victimisation.”
Haider said no one was mandated to award certificates of treason.
“Even [former] prime ministers are dubbed as traitors. Is there any more injustice than this?”