Imran Khan warns Pakistanis not to go to Kashmir to fight jihad
Islamabad, Sep. 18 (PTI): Prime Minister Imran Khan warned Pakistanis on Wednesday not to go to Kashmir to fight jihad, saying it will hurt the cause of the Kashmiris.
“If anyone from Pakistan goes to India to fight jihad…he will be the first to do an injustice to Kashmiris, he will be the enemy of Kashmiris,” Khan told the media after inaugurating the Torkham Terminal at Pak-Afghan border.
Khan claimed that India needed just “an excuse to launch crackdown on the besieged people of Kashmir.”
He has repeatedly claimed that India could launch a “false flag” operation to divert attention from Kashmir.
Khan’s statement to discourage jihadi activities in Kashmir came ahead of his crucial visit to US where he would address the UN General Assembly and meet US President Donald Trump.
He said he will “forcefully present the Kashmir issue like never before” at the UN General Assembly session next week.
Khan also ruled out talks with India unless New Delhi lifts curfew in Kashmir and revoke the abrogation of Article 370.
A planned march by some political and religious parties towards the Line of Control with India was postponed early this week after Khan asked them to postpone it till his address at the UN General Assembly on September 27.
Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making “irresponsible statements” and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.
Khan also claimed that the attack on a Hindu temple in Ghotki in Sindh province was a conspiracy to sabotage his UN General Assembly address, where he would raise the Kashmir issue.
“I condemn what happened in Ghotki,” he said, adding that all citizens are given equal importance in the Constitution and Islam.
On Sunday, 50 people vandalised a Hindu temple in Ghotki after an alleged case of blasphemy.
Khan also said that Pakistan will make its utmost effort for the resumption of the stalled peace process in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister said he will insist for resumption of peace talks during his meeting with President Trump on Monday in New York.
He said it will be tragedy if the talks do not resume and the Taliban do not participate in the Afghan elections.
Khan’s comments came days after President Trump said that the peace talks with the Taliban are “dead”.
The president had stunned the world on Saturday when he announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington. It came after the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul erly this month, in which an American soldier were among the dead.
Trump said the decision to invite the Taliban to Camp David was his, and so was the call to cancel it.
Khan said peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of Afghan people as well as Pakistan.
He also said that the round-the-clock opening of the Torkham border crossing will facilitate trade in the region.
“I consider this to be a very historic day,” he said, adding that trade with Afghanistan had jumped by 50 per cent during the trial of the 24/7 border opening.
Pak refuses overflight to PM Modi’s plane
Islamabad, Sep. 18 (IANS): Pakistan on Wednesday refused to grant overflight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aircraft due to India’s removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a video interview, said that India had made a request that Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft be allowed overflight on September 20 while flying towards Germany on way to the US, and on its return journey on September 28.
“But keeping in mind Kashmir and India’s attitude and its human rights violations, we have decided against granting overflight. And the decision has been conveyed to the Indian High Commission,” he said.
Last week, Pakistan had similarly refused permission for President Ram Nath Kovind’s aircraft for overflight through Pakistani airspace.