Opposition leader rejects PM Imran’s Kashmir referendum statement

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement regarding holding a referendum in Kashmir to decide whether the Kashmiris wanted to live with Pakistan or as an independent nation.

In a tweet, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly slammed the prime minister and said that casual remarks by PM in a political gathering are damaging for the Kashmir cause. His government’s Kashmir policy has already given India space to maneuver, he added.

PML-N President further said that he rejects any stance that is not rooted in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the country’s historical position.

It merits mention that PM Imran Khan, while addressing a large public gathering ahead of the election of AJK Legislative Assembly, promised there would be a referendum in Kashmir, with people free to choose the future of their nation.

The prime minister rejected the impression that PTI was focusing on making Azad Kashmir a province of Pakistan.

Instead, he said, the PTI strongly believed in the United Nations Security Council resolutions under which the people of Jammu and Kashmir were given right to choose whether they wanted to accede to Pakistan or India.

“InshaAllah, I am confident that the sacrifices of Kashmiri people will not go in vain and the day is not far when a referendum in Kashmir will be held to give them right to decide about their fate,” he added.

Imran Khan said he always advocated the case of Kashmir at all international forums and vowed to continue highlighting the plight of Kashmiri people in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said in the past, both the Pakistan Muslim League’s leader Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party chief Asif Ali Zardari never pleaded the case of Kashmir at the international arena.

He pointed out that Nawaz Sharif, according to Indian journalist Barkha Dutt, held secret meetings with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in Nepal against the army of Pakistan. Also, Nawaz Sharif invited Modi, who was involved in firing pellet gunshots at Kashmiris, to his family marriage ceremonies, but did not bother to meet the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders in India.

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