Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the opposition parties that are part of an 11-party anti-government alliance – the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – will declare him the best person on earth if he offers them an NRO – a reprieve from corruption cases.
“They [opposition] will say that I am a gem of a person who has properly highlighted the issue of Kashmir, if they get an NRO,” the premier said while talking to a private news channel in Kotli district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
The premier was apparently referring to the PDM’s leader’s Friday speeches at their Muzaffarabad rally to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day. At the rally, the opposition leaders criticized the premier over his “failure” to stop India from illegally annexing Kashmir in August 2019.
The PM, while addressing a mammoth gathering in Kotli on Friday also lambasted the PDM and said: "I'm ready for any sort of agreement, but I will never offer an NRO to the looters. I will help the opposition out with organizing their long march anywhere they want, but will not give them the NRO".
Leaders of the opposition parties on Thursday geared up for a decisive battle against the PTI led government as they announced that the PDM would stage a long march to Islamabad on March 26.
Talking with reference to the long march, Imran on Saturday said the PDM may as well try a long march.
“No matter what they do, I won’t give them an NRO. They [PDM] must bear in mind that people don’t support looters. People around the world have come out on the streets to protest against corruption. Has anyone ever come out on the streets to support corruption of political leaders,” the premier said.
Criticizing the PML-N supreme leader, he said Nawaz Sharif is hiding abroad along with his children.
“The families of his brother as well as their munshi [former finance minister Ishaq Dar] are also hiding abroad. They see people as fools but those who treat people as fools are the greatest fool themselves,” the premier said.
India’s failed attempts
Imran said India has failed in getting Pakistan placed in the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that makes policies to curb money laundering and terror financing.
“India is delusional if it thinks it can suppress Pakistan. New Delhi could never isolate Islamabad from the rest of the world. We have asked India to resolve the Kashmir conflict through dialogue," he said, adding that the issue of Kashmir has once again come into the limelight internationally.
In his speech at Kotli on Friday, Prime Minister Imran said the entire Pakistan stands united for the cause of Kashmir as it wants to bring an end to the atrocities and barbarities being committed by India.
“Plebiscite in light of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions is the only solution to the Kashmir dispute. India could never win over the resolute Kashmiri people by using force.
"World history tells that no army could ever win over a population. When a nation stood united, it defeated even the powerful armies. The United States, a super power, could not win in Vietnam... No super power could win in Afghanistan... France could not win over population in Algeria,” he said.
Reiterating his commitment to raise the Kashmiris' voice across the world as "Ambassador of Kashmir", the prime minister said instead of suppressing the Kashmiri people, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Hindutva ideology” would destroy the Indian society.
"The issue of Kashmir has been lingering since 1948. It could be resolved the way other international disputes like that of East Timor were resolved. [However] Kashmiris should be given the right to decide their fate," he said.
According to the premier, he invited Indian PM Narendra Modi several times to come to the negotiating table to resolve the crisis as dialogue is the only viable solution.
"I realized following [February 2019] Pulwama incident that they [Indians] don't want peace or friendly ties [with Pakistan], and intend to use the issue for political gains. [But] I'm still asking Modi to resolve the Kashmir issue through talks,” the premier said.
Imran clarified that this invitation for dialogue should not be seen as a sign of weakness or fear."
"Pakistan is the country of people who don't fear anyone but Allah; never have and never will," he maintained. "Those who bow before Allah don't bow before anyone else." PM observed that today, no one who has the support of the Indian government could win elections from occupied Kashmir.
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