The day after his party thumped to victory in what Pakistan calls “elections” in Pak-occupied Kashmir, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an uncharacteristic statement that was only provocative in nature.
On Friday, July 22, Sharif addressed a gathering in Muzaffarabad where he said, “We are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes (part of) Pakistan.”
At the gathering, Sharif said that the “azaadi movement of Kashmiris cannot be stopped”.
Al-Badar Mujahideen, a Pakistani group in Peshawar, protesting violence in Kashmir. AFP
While India continues to propose talks over Kashmir and has never made any unwarranted remark on the situation, in his rhetoric the Pakistani PM accused India of “beating and killing” Kashmiris who are demanding azaadi. “You are aware of how they are being beaten and killed. All our prayers are with them and we are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes (part of) Pakistan,” Dawn News quoted Sharif as saying. Of course, Sharif’s remarks needed a strong response, and India gave it. Late on July 23, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj issued the strongest statement against Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif.
Sushma said, “The whole of India would like to tell Prime Minister of Pakistan that this dream will not be realised even at the end of eternity. The whole of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India.”
She reminded the international community that Pakistan does nothing for Kashmir except encourage terrorism to fulfil its “delusional though dangerous dream” of making the Indian territory a part of Pakistan. She also said that the violence in Kashmir was unleashed with support from Islamabad.
It should be noted here that Pakistan recently observed a Black Day to express solidarity with terrorist Burhan Wani. Ever since the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander and the subsequent violent protests in the Valley, Pakistan has been taking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations. Over 50 have died and around 3000 injured, including 1700 security personnel, in the unrest in the Valley.