Kashmir Martyrs Day: Nawaz Sharif Receives Strong Criticism
By News Desk
ISLAMABAD—The eighty-fourth anniversary of Kashmir Martyrs Day was observed across Pakistan on Monday where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was the center of criticism by Ministers in AJK Government, Kashmiri leaders based in Pakistan, and human rights defenders, for his latest U-turn on Kashmir.
Pakistan’s largest pro-Kashmir youth lobbying group, Youth Forum for Kashmir (YFK) organized a round table in Islamabad, titled ‘Kashmir Martyrs Day: Freedom Under Attack’.
Ms. Farzana Yaqoob, Minister of Social Development and Hasan al-Banna, the Islamabad-based representative of APHC said that Prime Minister’s failure to support Kashmir compels Kashmiris to look up to Pakistan Army as the guardian of Kashmir cause.
Ms. Yaqoob said both Kashmiris and Pakistanis are disappointed after Nawaz Sharif’s failure to stand up for Kashmir at SCO Summit, and his government’s failure to declare official mourning after the death of the founder of Kashmir freedom movement late Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan.
“What Nawaz Sharif did is not a surprise. It was expected,” Yaqoob said, addressing youth activists and Kashmir lobbyists. “Kashmir is an asset for Pakistan, not a burden. Kashmiris are not causing pain to anyone, they are under pain themselves.”
APHC representative Hasan al-Banna said Kashmiris do not forget those who helped them in their hour of need, and the people of Pakistan, he said, are steadfast in their support for Kashmir. Banna said Kashmiris are disillusioned with Pakistani politicians and are now again looking up to Pakistani military. He said Pakistani military remains committed to end the Indian military occupation of Kashmir.
Banna said: “Mr. Nawaz Sharif had a strong case while meeting the Indian PM. Modi accepted Indian role in breaking up Pakistan in 1971, its national security adviser Ajit Doval has publicly threatened Balochistan, and BBC reported that Indian is financing terrorism in Karachi.”
Banna concluded on an emotional point: “Whether Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stands with us or not, Kashmiris do not and will not live with India.”
Muhsaal Hussein Mullick, the Srinagar-based wife of Kashmir freedom leader Yasin Malik, said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should understand that “Pakistan will always pay a price anyway, whether he speaks for Kashmir or not. See the Indian terrorism in FATA, Balochistan or Karachi.”
She denied the impression of disunity within the ranks of Kashmiri leadership. She predicted more unity in the days ahead as anti-Indian resistance increases.
Ahmed Quraishi, chief lobbyist at Youth Forum For Kashmir, introduced a Pakistani Hindu activist working for Kashmir as an example of how Pakistani youth and public are committed to Kashmir. He said there is a disturbing trend where PM Nawaz Sharif government has cancelled two meetings for Kashmiri leaders with the Pakistani high commissioner in India. Sharif has turned Kashmir into a bilateral issue, and accepted Indian conditions on terrorism and backchannel diplomacy.
The round table discussion was moderated by Kashmir lobbyist Syedda Mariah Atiq, who briefed the participants on the latest political and diplomatic developments surrounding Kashmir.
Dateline Islamabad July 13, 2015
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