An opposition alliance in Pakistan has said that Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan are on the same page on the Kashmir issue, calling them “unqualified leaders”.
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The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a group of 11 opposition parties, said the two leaders “do not have the right” to decide on behalf of the Kashmiris.
The PDM had organized a rally in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5. “Imran Khan and his lobby are following the plan of partition of Kashmir, we will not let the conspiracy succeed”, PDM leaders claimed.
Addressing the rally, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman said that history will not be forgiving to those who tried to separate Kashmiris from Pakistan. “If Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was formed in Kashmir (Pakistan-administered Kashmir). Will make a bad situation with Pakistan,” he said.
Earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had accused his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi of resorting to a “divide and rule” policy in the India-administered Kashmir. He also alleged that Modi’s sole mission is to win elections and that he is not interested in talks to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
The 68-year-old former Pakistani cricket team captain alleged that Prime Minister Modi’s entire focus has been to follow the RSS ideology of dividing the entire country in order to “win elections”.
Khan was addressing an event held in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on February 5. February 5 is observed as Kashmir Solidarity Day throughout Pakistan to protest against the alleged Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The suggestion to observe Kashmir Solidarity Day was first put forward in 1990, by Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the then head of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious and political organization in Pakistan.
The proposal was approved by then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and then Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province Nawaz Sharif.
Since then, February 5 has been treated as an official holiday in Pakistan to show solidarity with the people living in India-administered Kashmir.
To mark the day, rallies are held across the nation in support of the Kashmiris, with the general public forming human chains and carrying out demonstrations at various places.
“The purpose of my visit is to remind the world that you had made a pledge to the Kashmiris in 1948 that they will decide their future status of their own free accord. That pledge still remains unfulfilled, whereas, in the same period, East Timor, an island of the Muslim state of Indonesia with a Christian population in the majority was given the same right, leading to its freedom,” Khan said addressing the rally.
India and Kashmir have been at loggerheads over Kashmir since their independence in 1947. Both sides now exercise administrative control over parts of Kashmir on their side of the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border.
The relations between the two countries hit a new low after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, which stripped Jammu and Kashmir of special status, with both sides exchanging fire and regularly involving in cross-border shelling.
Pakistan, which seeks sovereignty for the entire Kashmir region, had termed the move illegal.
In his speech on February 5, Khan said, “I want to tell the Kashmiris on both sides of the divide that after you will decide in favor of Pakistan [in a plebiscite], you will be given a right by Pakistan to choose whether you want to remain as a part of Pakistan or as an independent nation… This will be your right.”
"To the Kashmiri people, my message is that your goal of self-determination is not far. Pakistan will stand with you till you achieve your legitimate rights."
– Prime Minister Imran Khan at the #KashmirSolidarityDay rally at Kotli, Azad Jammu & Kashmir#PMIKStandsWithKashmir pic.twitter.com/6DYUKIMgqd
— PTI Jammu & Kashmir Valley (@PTIJKValley) February 6, 2021
Following India’s August 2019 decision to withdraw the special status of Kashmir, the United Nations Security Council had discussed the matter multiple times. One of the debates was initiated by Pakistan’s ‘iron brother’ China last year.
India, however, claimed that it had “met with little support” from the international community and reiterated that Beijing should “draw proper conclusions from infructuous attempts”.
Another attempt by Pakistan fails!
In today’s meeting of UN Security Council which was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that J&K was bilateral issue & did not deserve time and attention of Council.
— PR UN Tirumurti (@ambtstirumurti) August 5, 2020
There were reports that the US and many other council members had made it clear that the Kashmir issue was not a matter for the UN body to discuss and was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.