ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR: Pakistan observed the first anniversary of J&K’s
being revoked as “
(day of exploitation)”, with
PM Imran Khan
terming Delhi’s move a “strategic blunder” and once again peddling “freedom” for the Valley as “the only solution to the Kashmir issue”.
Addressing a special session of the PoK’s legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad, Khan told lawmakers that the “battle” wasn’t lost yet, although it might look like that from the inside. “I, on the other hand, believe that Kashmiris are going through an era of suffering which, God willing, will end in victory for them,” he said.
Khan claimed that PM Narendra Modi had revoked Article 370 on the basis of four assumptions. “Modi won last elections by playing the ‘hate card’ and, after becoming PM for the second time, he decided to expand that base by revoking Kashmir’s status. His win with a heavy mandate gave him the confidence to do this and he received massive support from his Hindutva base for the Kashmir step,” Khan said.
According to him, Modi assumed that Pakistan “would keep quiet because we wanted friendship with India”. He claimed his counterpart also thought that India being a big market, the international community would stay silent “to counterbalance China”.
“And the biggest of all his (PM Modi) follies was thinking that by posting 8 lakh soldiers in the Valley, he could terrify the Kashmiris and then India would be able to change Kashmir’s demography. India also had a misconception that when it showed its full might, the people of Kashmir would surrender,” Khan said.
The Pakistan PM also confirmed that Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Geelani, who had resigned from his post as chief of
the All Parties Hurriyat Conference
in June, would be honoured with the country’s highest civilian award, the
, on August 14. Khan described Geelani as a “big leader” of not only Kashmir but also of the region.
The PoK assembly passed a resolution condemning “India’s actions in Kashmir” and thanked Pakistan “for standing with the Kashmiris”.
In Islamabad, there were
rallies during the day, one of which was led by President Arif Alvi and foreign minister
Shah Mehmood Qureshi
While curfew-like restrictions ensured there were no protests in J&K on Wednesday, Pakistani flags had been hoisted in Srinagar’s
locality and in Tral town of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district late Tuesday, security agencies said.