Pakistan top leadership affirm Kashmir Struggle

ISLAMABAD: Unde­ter­red by Indian threats, top political and military leadership on Wednesday vowed to continue support for the Kashmiris’ struggle and pointed to the ‘restraint’ shown by Pakistan in the face of recent Indian provocations.

“Pakistan will continue to extend its moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris until the issue of Kashmir is resolved as per aspirations of Kashmiri people,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said while presiding over a meeting of key aides.

He said that Indian atrocities on Kashmiris would not be tolerated.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaud­hry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza and senior officials.

This was the second high-level civil-military huddle on the situation in India-held Kashmir after the Cabinet Committee on National Security met in July. The meeting took place against the backdrop of escalation in tensions with India following the Sept 18 Uri army camp attack and launch of a diplomatic offensive by Delhi for internationally isolating Pakistan.

The meeting reviewed Indian actions and the planning to respond to any aggression.

“Pakistan has shown unequalled and unprecedented restraint despite great provocation,” PM Sharif said.

The meeting expressed satisfaction over the military’s preparedness to defend the country’s territorial integrity.

Islamabad feels the escalatory measures by Delhi are aimed at diverting the global attention from the atrocities being committed in held Kashmir for suppressing the uprising there.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi, in her reply to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the General Assembly, went to the extent of suggesting that Uri attack was a false flag operation. “The attack on the Indian army base in Uri, particularly its timing, has all the hallmarks of an operation designed to divert attention from India’s atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The international community is well aware that several such incidents have been staged in the past to serve India’s tactical and propaganda objectives,” she had noted.

At the meeting, the prime minister rejected New Delhi’s allegations against Islamabad, saying Pakistan would continue working for peace in the region.

“Pakistan will continue to strive for a peaceful South Asia with a view to enabling its people [to achieve] the progress and prosperity of the 21st century,” Mr Sharif underscored.

He seemed to be responding to India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan that refused to attend the SAARC summit Pakistan is to host in November on the pretext of terrorism and external interference.

“The world is a witness that Pakistan has given tremendous sacrifices for global peace,” he added.

The premier also rejected Indian threats of scrapping Indus Waters Treaty.

“The Indus Waters Treaty was a mutually agreed arrangement between India and Pakistan brokered by the World Bank in 1960 and no one country can unilaterally separate itself from the treaty,” he said.

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