MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Tuesday endorsed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s views over baseless allegations hurled by the Indian government over the Pulwama incident.
The premier, while addressing the nation earlier in the day, had offered India an olive branch, saying Islamabad is willing to act upon ‘actionable intelligence’ after sections of the Indian government and media accused the country of being involved in the Pulwama suicide attack in the Indian-occupied Kashmir that killed 44 paramilitary personnel on February 14.
However, the prime minister also warned the government in New Delhi of retaliation in the event of any aggressive military measures by India.
“Pakistan will not think about retaliation, we will retaliate. You will leave us with no other option,” said the premier as he referred to growing voices in the Indian government and media asking for ‘punitive military measures’ against Islamabad.
The AJK president, in his statement, said that India in the interest of peace and stability in the region should act responsibly and refrain from issuing provocative statements.
“The hype and fanatic frenzy whipped up in India by the ruling party and extremist groups is a systematic incitement to hatred which is a serious violation of international law, national laws and human norms,” he said.
Without any shred of evidence, Masood Khan said, India had accused Pakistan of being behind the attack. “People of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan, in good faith, are ready for any fair, impartial and independent international investigation into the incident.”
President Khan added: “Trumped up and fabricated accusations of terrorism should not be used to demonise Kashmiris, who are suffering under Indian oppression, slander Pakistan and suppress the Kashmiris’ movement for self-determination.”
He said Kashmiris firmly believe that the dispute cannot be resolved through oppression and state terrorism. “It requires diplomatic tools and political mechanisms.”
The AJK president went on to say that India has adopted a despotic attitude towards Kashmiris for the past 71 years and now it is extending the same to Indian Muslims and Pakistan. “This is adding fuel to the fire,” he added.
He made an appeal to the Indian civil society to not be led by ‘religious zealots and violent extremists’ who want to plunge the whole region into communal strife.
The Indian civil society, he said, should counsel the Indian government to defuse and deescalate the situation, promote dialogue and encourage diplomatic overtures and communication between the two sides.