MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the Kashmir issue is engraved in the hearts of Pakistanis, reiterating that the government and the people of Pakistan fully support the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination.
“About 207 million Pakistanis support their Kashmiri brethren in their struggle,” said the PM on Monday while addressing a joint session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly and the Kashmir Council on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day.
AJK President Sardar Masood Khan and Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Muhammad Barjees Tahir were also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Abbasi said that illegitimate use of force by Indian troops in the held region and their coercive measures had miserably failed to suppress the indigenous freedom struggle.
He said political leaders might have differences on certain issues, but on the issue of Kashmir, the “leadership is united and there are no two opinions”.
He stressed the need for highlighting the Kashmir issue at all the international fora and urged the treasury and opposition benches to set aside their political differences and work with more vigour for the Kashmir cause.
Abbasi called for involving the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora for further highlighting the Kashmir issue and gross human rights violations committed by the Indian occupation forces. He said the issue would remain alive till its peaceful resolution in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and in accordance with the UN resolutions.
Referring to the AJK assembly and the council, he said the house had been a seat of unanimity among different Kashmiri leaders who lent unequivocal support to the people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
The PM said that Kashmir Solidarity Day reflected the spirit of unity among all the rank and file of the nation, adding that in their legitimate struggle, “Kashmiris are not alone as the whole Pakistani nation is standing with them.”
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"The hearts of Pakistanis and Kashmiris beat together," he said. “The people of Pakistan feel the pains and sufferings of the Kashmir people in IOK, who have been facing the illegal subjugation of the Indian rule for the last 70 years, and extend their whole-hearted support to the Kashmiri leadership.”
He said, “Every child in IOK is a freedom lover and their desires should be reciprocated with unity.”
He reiterated that the government of Pakistan and its people would continue their political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri people struggling for their right to self-determination.
Prime Minister Abbasi said the federal government would extend all possible support for development in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The AJK development budget had been doubled, he added.
He said various dormant projects like Neelum-Jhelum power plant were being completed with the active support of the federal government.
He referred to the construction of Mansehra-Mirpur-Muzaffarabad road under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would enhance connectivity and spur progress and development in AJK.
The PM assured full support of his government for the families of those who were martyred in Indian shelling at the Line of Control.
He lauded the role of Pakistan Army in successes over the war on terror. Pakistan fought the biggest war on terror in the world, rendering immense sacrifices, and succeeded where the world had failed, he added.
Abbasi said there was no interference from the federal government over the formation of the AJK government as it was elected by the Kashmiri people. He also advised the AJK government to strive for providing a better governance system so that people could get their issues resolved at their doorsteps.
He also appreciated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue and make the defence of Pakistan invincible.