NEW DELHI: Pakistan renewed its pledge to Kashmir’s freedom struggle on the 69th anniversary of the partition of the sub-continent.
Addressing the Independence Day celebration ceremony in the heart of New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave, Ambassador Abdul Basit said that Islamabad would not abandon the Kashmiris and their struggle against oppression.
“Aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir can neither be ignored nor put on the back burner,” said Basit in a strongly worded speech delivered during the ceremony at the High Commission. “No matter how much more time does their legitimate struggle take, Pakistan will never abandon Kashmiris and their cause,” the envoy added.
The high commissioner said Pakistan has always desired normal and cooperative ties with India. “It is necessary to settle all outstanding issues, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” Basit asserted.
During his brief speech after hoisting the country’s national flag at the Chancery, Basit also highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place in Pakistan on the economic front and its “fight” against terrorism, saying the country’s economy was showing “encouraging” signs of recovery.
“The China-Pakistan economic corridor is a testament to Pakistan’s potential and unparalleled opportunities the country offers for investment,” the diplomat said.
Earlier, deputy high commissioner Mansoor A Khan read out the Independence Day messages from President Mamnoon Hussain and Premier Nawaz Sharif.
While relations between the two nuclear-armed countries remain frosty, their national security advisors are scheduled to meet in the Indian capital later this month as a confidence-building measure.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2015.