Pakistan just will not back down. Now its representative in India has said that Pakistan’s Independence Day celebration is dedicated to “Kashmir getting freedom”. As has Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Is saal ki Jashn e Azadi hum Kashmir ki Azadi ke naam karte hain,” Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s high commissioner to Delhi said on Saturday, according to ANI. That translates to “This year’s independence day celebrations are in the name of Kashmir’s (future) independence.”
In Pakistan, Sharif, to, dedicated the day “to the freedom movement in Kashmir.” “I dedicate this year’s 14th August to the freedom of Kashmir,” the Express Tribune quoted Sharif as saying. Pakistan celebrate its Independence on August 14.
This latest provocation comes after Pakistan last week proposed foreign secretary-level talks on Kashmir and the ongoing unrest there, an issue India described as irrelevant to any Indo-Pak dialogue.
PM Modi said on Friday that “relevant issues” to discuss with Pakistan are its support for cross-border terrorism , its inciting of violence in Kashmir and it allowing UN-sanctioned terrorists like Hafiz Saeed operate freely on its soil. As for Kashmir, yes, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is an issue India would like to discuss, Modi said. Except that POK is not on the table for discussion as far as Pakistan is concerned.
“The fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir is cross-border terrorism promoted by our neighbouring country. Due to terrorism normal life in Kashmir Valley is affected,” Modi also said on Friday.
“Who’s Salahuddin to talk?”
Pakistan has continued to make provocative comments about Kashmir since India’s security services on July 8 gunned down 22-year-old terrorist Burhan Muzaffar Wani. A mere two days after Wani was killed, Pakistan began its sabre rattling. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif+ expressed “deep shock” over the killing of Wani, and criticized the use of “excessive” force against civilians in the valley.
Terrorist Hafiz Saeed went so far as to call the slain militant Wani a “martyr”, and also held a prayer meeting for him. And Pakistan on July 20 observed a ‘black day’ to ‘condemn’ the violence in Kashmir.
Last week, Hizbul Mujahideen’s Syed Salahuddin threatened a nuclear attack on India over the Kashmir issue.
Union Minister Venkiah Naidu slammed Salahauddin and asked who gave him the right to speak about Kashmir.
“Who is he and who has given him the right to speak about Kashmir? Dhamki se kuch nahin hoga (His threats won’t work on us),” said Venkaiah Naidu, parliamentary affairs minister to ANI.
The minister also chastised Pakistan for allowing the likes of Salahuddin and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed operate freely on its soil.
“They keep talking bad (like this) just for publicity. Pakistan must seriously think if encouraging such people is right,” Naidu said.
Modi on Pak involvement in Kashmir
PM Modi on Friday gave a breakdown of the huge numbers of weapons seized in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989-90 and added that since then, more than 5,000 foreign terrorists were killed “which is almost equal to the strength of 5 Battalions.”
“Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes. The time has come when Pakistan shall have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against people in Baluchistan and PoK.