Passing of resolutions won’t pay: Sever Modi’s hand on devouring Kashmir, says Shahbaz
ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif has said Kashmir is our jugular vein and the hands of Indian Premier Modi who has attacked it should be cut off.
The opposition leader expressed these views while addressing the joint sitting of the parliament on Tuesday and termed the revocation of article 35A and 370 by India as massive failure of foreign policy of the Pakistan government. “We continued to believe in assurances of President Trump's mediation and India played its strategy in occupied Kashmir,” the opposition leader said, adding no Indian government in the last 72 years dared to take such an extreme step.
The opposition leader, however, on behalf of the opposition parties assured the prime minister that they would support him if his government takes a firm stand against Modi and adopts an effective strategy to counter his actions. The joint sitting of the parliament faced around a four-hour suspension due to the strong protest from parliamentarians of the opposition parties when they noted that the resolution by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati did not mention India’s revocation of Article 35A and 370. The House echoed with slogans ‘Americaka jo yar hey Ghaddar hey’ and Modi Ka jo yar hey Ghaddar hey’ from the opposition benches. Shahbaz Sharif and PPP Senator Raza Rabbani drew attention of the chair that the resolution did not contain the reason for which the joint sitting of the House was summoned. Swati later read the amended resolution but protest from the opposition benches continued. The speaker adjourned the proceedings for 20 minutes. Later, the House resumed after following negotiations that the proceedings would be conducted peacefully.
Shahbaz Sharif questioned the PTI government's strategy to counter the Indian government's action on Kashmir. “We want the government to learn from mistakes and take decisions to counter India’s strategy,” he said. Sharif said in the present situation when the Indian government has taken the brutal act of occupying Kashmir, just lip service or passing resolutions would not serve the purpose. “Rather, we all have to take bold decision to counter India’s strategy,” he said. Sharif said the government should give a categorical message to the nation that no one will be allowed to make Kashmir, a Palestine nor Modi will be allowed to become Israel. He said the Indian prime minister had gone to the extreme limit of brutalities on Kashmir, saying the government, the opposition and the nation would have to take a bold stance against suppression by New Delhi.
The leader of the opposition said the President Trump’s offer of mediation between Pakistan and India was negated by the Indian government but Prime Minister Imran Khan was given welcome as the hero of the 1992 world cup. He recalled that when the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had met US President Clinton and asked for resolution of the Kashmir issue, “President Clinton awakened Vajpayee but Imran Khan is happy over the verbal assurances of the US president.” Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan were repaid in the form of India’s brutal act. He said Pakistan is for Kashmiris and Kashmiris are for Pakistan. He said Indian prime minister’s attempt to occupy the state of Kashmir by revocation of Article 35-A has a direct bearing on security and integrity of Pakistan. He said the whole nation wanted to know what response the government will take to counter the situation. “The government should tap all the diplomatic sources to raise the voice for Kashmiris,” he said. He said Modi government not only usurped the rights of Kashmiris, but also challenged the dignity and honour of Pakistan. This action by India is a slap on the face of UNSC and the international community. He said Pakistan wants to resolve the issues peacefully as war is no solution to any problem. Shahbaz Sharif said Narendra Modi with this step not only ridiculed President Trump's mediation offer but also took steps to annex Kashmir shrewdly.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said India has opened a Pandora box by abolishing the Article 370 which granted a special status to the Indian occupied Kashmir. He said that not only Hurriyat leadership has been detained but the ones who participated in elections as well. He said, “We offer our blood for the survival of Kashmir.”
Bilawal said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought the mandate of hatred and is playing with fire in the valley. He said that India, violating international conventions, has unleashed violence against Kashmiris.
Bilawal said that India’s unilateral action was against the ideology of former Indian leaders such as Nehru, Gandhi and Vajpayee. He said that Pakistan needs to escalate this issue to international forums such as the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, as the nation wants action now.
Bilawal Bhutto said Prime Minister Imran Khan did not give a policy statement but delivered a speech, adding that if the premier will lead, then the opposition will support him. The PPP chairman also lamented the lack of action or passing of any resolution during the session, saying that eminent lawmakers were also missing in the session.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to rise to the occasion and provide leadership for the Kashmir cause instead of relying on tweet and speeches. He said that it is unfortunate that Speaker of the House was unable to complete the House as former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah and two representatives from South and North Waziristan are absent even on Tuesday.
Similarly, the House was incomplete on the occasion when the budget was presented in the Parliament. It may be pointed out that ex-president Asif Zardari and PML-N member Khawaja Saad Rafique attended proceedings of the joint session on Speaker’s production orders.
Bilawal Bhutto said that India has been using cluster bombs on innocent Kashmiris, educational institutions are closed, every kind of communication has been cut off, extra Indian troops have been sent to Kashmir and all the known political leaders have been arrested.
He said that changing special status of occupied Kashmir opens the door to make Kashmiris a minority in their own land. “This will not be accepted by the Kashmiri people, we the Pakistanis and the people of India should also follow suit in rejecting this treacherous act,” he said.
He said Prime Minister Modi is an extremist ruler who is the butcher of Gujrat and now occupies the post of Indian Prime Minister. He asked that if Pakistan had ever elected an extremist prime minister like Modi then would have India welcomed it? India has become an occupying force in Kashmir. Modi's mandate is a hate mandate, he has been inflicting harm on Kashmiri people for the last five years and it is ironic that our PM Imran Khan was hoping and praying for his re-election. Modi has arrested the entire Kashmir leadership because every Kashmiri considers India's act as illegal and the former chief minister of Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti has said that the day India revoked Article 370 is the darkest day of Indian democracy.
Bilawal asked Pakistani government to take drastic diplomatic actions and must engage United Nations and demand for a special session of OIC so that we can demonstrate that every Muslim country is united on Kashmir issue.
He said that a commission should be constituted to investigate human rights violations in held Kashmir. He also asked international community to take notice of Indian action.
Chairman PPP said Simla Agreement says that no side will take unilateral action. PPP hopes that Pakistani PM will put forward the case of Kashmir at all international forums but unfortunately, the government is just boasting the photo session of the US visit and is busy in crushing the Opposition. He said that we stand at the crossroads of history. The history will ask us where we were when Kashmiri youth were showered with pellet guns and bombed with cluster bombs. “We have only two options left now -- either to accept aggressive, treacherous and extremist Modi's hegemony desert our Kashmiri brethren and live a life of humiliation or to rise to the occasion and reject Modi's ideology,” he said, adding the latter is the honorable option.
He said that Pakistan must act wisely as India has lost its credibility and legitimacy as a democratic state by revoking Article 370. “We have to speak as one voice, Pakistani voice. We must shun all our differences and unite for our Kashmiri brethren,” he said.