KASHMIR: Pakistan PM Imran Khan leads solidarity rallies

Imran Khan has vowed to raise allegations of violations in the disputed region of Kashmir perpetrated by India with the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in September.

As tens of thousands held protests across Pakistan expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris, Khan said “The purpose of today’s gathering is to tell Kashmiris that we are standing with them in their sorrow and pain.

School children support Imran Khan’s Kashmir rally in Islamabad

“Today, a message will go from Pakistan that until our Kashmiris don’t get their freedom, Pakistan will stand firmly with them in their struggle until our last breath.”

Almost a month ago India revoked Article 370 – a special constitutional status accorded to the Indian-administered Kashmir. India’s PM Narendra Modi imposed a lock-down on India-administered Kashmir with blackout on communications and deployed a further 70,000 troops to the territory.

Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but administer separate portions of it. The nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the region.

“The whole world should have stood with Kashmir,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said at a rally of thousands outside his office in the capital Islamabad on Friday 30th August.

“But today I have to say, with sadness, that when there is injustice against Muslims, then the international community, and those institutions like the UN that are to provide justice, remain silent.”

Khan drew similarities of Modi’s manifesto to that of Hitler and Nazi saying that Modi’s “fascist ideology has overtaken India, the way Nazi party took over Germany”.

Imran Khan has issued warned that if India took any military action across the Line of Control that divides the Kashmiri territory between India and Pakistan, the situation could quickly escalate.

“Our army is ready that if there is any kind of [attack] on Azad Kashmir [Pakistan’s name for the region under its administration], then we are ready for them,” he said.

“But the world should know that when two countries with nuclear weapons are facing each other like this, it will not just harm the region, it will harm the world.”

Indian troops in Kashmir

The Indian government says it revoked Kashmir’s constitutional status on 5th August in order to bring the region into the country’s economic and governance mainstream.

Meanwhile the Indian Foreign Ministry reiterates that the Indian government’s position on Kashmir is “an internal matter”.

Khan added: “Our foreign minister is talking to his counterparts all over the world and preparing the world that if today you’ll stay silent on this issue, the world will bear the impact.

“We are going to run a worldwide campaign to elevate the Kashmir curfew. We will engage our overseas Pakistanis, human rights organisations, celebrities, and anyone who supports human rights, we will involve them.

“Kashmir is under a lockdown for a month now. No one is allowed to go there, be it common people, media and even the leaders of Indian opposition parties.

Narendra Modi, in his arrogance, has played the last card by inflicting atrocities in Kashmir and my heart says that after his imprudent move, Kashmir will be liberated.

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