MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in an address to the Legislative Assembly of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Kashmir Day, urged politicians to continue supporting the struggle of people across the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The people of Kashmir will continue to fight for freedom even if we [politicians] do not stand united [behind them],” he said. “But our unity will give them strength,” he asserted.
Abbasi reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the people of Kashmir and their leaders fighting for freedom.
He added that political leaders, despite their differences, should not “doubt each other on the [Kashmir] issue”.
Praising the resolve of the Kashmiri people, theprime minister said that “all Pakistan had to do” was to continue drawing attention to the Kashmir issue on every forum available. He urged Kashmiri leaders to work together to mobilise the people across the border.
“Kashmiris are a huge force. All they need is good leadership and it is your responsibility to provide that,” he said. “The government will provide all the resources that you need in this regard.”
He said Pakistan had always sought a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue and would continue to do so.
The premier also lauded the army for fighting to keep the country’s borders safe and announced that the government will provide for the families of martyrs who sacrificed their lives while posted at the Line of Control.
He said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had included the project of the Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur road in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor only for the sake of development in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
The PM asked regional leaders to focus on ensuring good governance in the region and continue raising the Kashmir issue on every international forum, whether economic, political or diplomatic.
Referring to the 2016 elections in Kashmir where the ruling PML-N grabbed 31 seats out of 41, Abbasi stressed that the government had not interfered in the polls, whether “people believe it or not”.
He claimed that although past governments had attempted to influence polls in Kashmir, the current government had ensured fair elections.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Monday that Kashmiris are waiting for the international community to wake up and hold the United Nations-promised plebiscite.
Millions of Pakistanis across the globe mark the day to express their support to the Kashmiris in the struggle for their right to self-determination under the United Nations (UN) resolution.
A one-minute silence was observed nationwide at 10am to pay homage to the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir and their struggle.
In his message, President Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan reiterates its unwavering political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination right.