We have to act courageously and strategically. On one hand, there is the valley of Kashmir which has turned red with the blood of the innocent Kashmiris and on the other hand we are facing a shrewd enemy. After 1970, that enemy has again violated the borders of Pakistan, which is a severe offence under international law.
This was stated by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif in a lengthy address on the current situation between India and Pakistan.
He narrated the events of Tuesday and Wednesday saying that Indian air crafts “entered our territory and left in haste after dropping bombs.” Within hours of the incident, the Pakistan Air Force took action and shot down two Indian Air Force planes, he said, adding that the officers and jawans of our armed forces and PAF deserve the appreciation of the nation. “They have made us proud,” he said.
Praising them further, he said the show of courage by [our forces] proves that our forces will protect the motherland at any cost. “It would be unfair if I would not mention, Squadron Leader Hassan Siddiqui. He is our hero,” he said.
“Pakistan condemned the Pulwama incident. But Narendar Modi is a war-monger, a terrorist. When he was the chief minister of Gujrat, he killed thousands of Muslims and entire Muslim neighbourhoods were put on fire. Countries barred him from entering their country,” said Shehbaz, adding that Modi created a hysteria in the guise of this incident since his numbers have dropped in the campaign for the upcoming Indian elections.
This isn’t the first time tension has risen between our countries, he said, recalling the three wars fought by the two countries in the past, in which resources meant to be used for poverty alleviation and ending unemployment were used. “But our neighbour has never accepted Pakistan from its heart,” he said.
“When late Indian PM Vajpayee visited Lahore in 1998, he had said at the Minar-e-Pakistan that we had wounds when Pakistan was created but now we accept Pakistan from the heart. Despite this, Modi’s India hasn’t accepted it,” the opposition leader continued.
He emphasised that wars were not the solution to any conflict. At the end, both, the loser and winner have to come to the table, he said.
It’s a bitter reality that until the Kashmir conflict is resolved as per the wishes of the people of Kashmir and UN’s resolution, long lasting peace won’t be established in the region like the last 70 years, he said, adding that India will have to give Kashmiris their right.
“Till injustice against Kashmiris continues, not only Modi but the world should also be assured that there won’t be peace. Modi’s insistence that non-state actors from Pakistan are involved in this incident, is a drama. This is all because of injustice being meted out to Kashmiris,” he said.
Shehbaz said Pakistan itself has been a victim of terrorism. “Does this world require any more evidence of our commitment to eradicate terrorism from the face of Pakistan?” he asked, adding that India has not fulfilled its promises of giving Kashmiris the right of self-determination. “Its violation of promises has fuelled the bloodshed in Kashmir,” he said.
“On one hand, global powers get East Timor separated from Indonesia and give it independence on grounds of religion. South Sudan is also made an independent state on the basis of religion. But when it comes to the independence of Muslims, the world’s powers are silent. Bosnia’s example is there. The world’s conscience was sleeping on the genocide of Muslims. Only after the global uproar and grave human tragedy, Bosnia was given independence,” he said.
He explained that blaming Pakistan for Kashmiri youth taking up arms has always been the strategy of India, especially during elections. If Pakistan wants to continue supporting Kashmiris, politically, diplomatically and morally, then we’ll have to put our own house in order, believes Shehbaz.
He said if we want to effectively raise our voice for Kashmiris on international forums, then we’ll have to make Pakistan economically stable. Beggars can’t be choosers, said Shehbaz.
“In 70 years, all the governments that came into power never paid attention on development of our resources. Instead, we relied heavily on grants and loans. Why wouldn’t there be a call for ‘do more’? It has become a part of our culture,” he said.
If we want to be counted as a strong, vibrant and honourable society and a country, then we’ll have to change our ways, he said, emphasising on hard work and honesty. “One day Kashmir will become Pakistan, just like the way East and West Germany were united,” he said.
Towards the end of his speech, the opposition leaders shared that the OIC has invited the Indian foreign minister as a guest of honour at their conference. “I’m hopeful that the government is aware of this. Ideally, the government should have asked the OIC to condemn India’s atrocities in Kashmir rather than inviting them as a guest of honour. This is totally unacceptable to us,” he said.
He said India tried to do the same thing in 1969, and the government of Pakistan had lodged a strong protest. “The OIC had to express regret to the Indian delegation that had already reached Rabaat to attend the meeting. The PM and FM should take notice of this and until they give a satisfactory reply, we should not participate in the meeting,” said Shehbaz.
“We should all [in the parliament] join our voices to give a clear message to Modi and Delhi – Pakistan is united. The entire nation is speaking with one voice. And taking all steps and measures to protect Pakistan’s vital interests,” he advised, adding that Pakistan will not tolerate any nonsense from the eastern border. “Our brave armed forces, by the grace of God, has the capacity to deliver a bloody nose to the enemy if the enemy chooses not to behave.”
He concluded that he agreed with PM Khan. “We should again offer them peace because this region can not tolerate any more instability. We have to provide jobs to millions, alleviate poverty and make Pakistan great,” Shehbaz said.
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