ISLAMABAD - Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Monday again retracted his controversial statement, which has led opposition parties to demand his resignation.

Addressing media on Monday, for second time in as many days, he reiterated that he had never said Kashmiris were considering not remaining with Pakistan after Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification.

“Pakistan is my country and nobody can doubt my love for the country and loyalty to it,” he added.

A fuming Raja Farooq said he does not believe in Imran Khan’s Pakistan and dared the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief to hold demonstrations against him.

“I will not tolerate any insult. I don’t believe in Imran Khan’s Pakistan. I believe in Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan. What are you going to do about it?” he raged, adding that he does not want to be a part of the political tug-of-war that is underway in Pakistan.

He also said that PTI had selected a eunuch (Sheikh Rashid) as its candidate for the PM’s slot.

Speaking about Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, he questioned what would happen if Imran Khan is also disqualified under the same clause.

“What is going on? What if Imran Khan also gets disqualified under Article 62? Would Shah Mehmood Qureshi become the next PM? And if he gets disqualified for the same reason too, and this goes on…” the AJK premier remarked.

He reiterated that his comments had been taken out of context by the news media, which had hurt his emotions.

“I was quoted out of context. It is painful. Pakistan is my country, I have every right to be concerned and express my reservations,” he said.

The AJK PM also requested media houses and other parties “not to drag Kashmir in their personal wars”.

Earlier on Sunday, Raja Farooq had said the future of Kashmiris was linked to Pakistan’s prosperity.

“Kashmiris do not have any option other than Pakistan and have been trying to become a part of the country since the past 70 years,” he had said.

 

 

Opposition’s demand

The opposition parties have demanded resignation from Raja Farooq over his controversial statement about annexation of Kashmir.

Addressing a joint news conference with Gilgit-Baltistan’s chief minister a couple of days ago, Raja was reported to be saying that “[Kashmir] will decide which country to annex to”.

In a statement on Monday, Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Sherry Rehman said: “It was shocking to hear such a statement coming from the PM of AJK. His loyalty should be with Pakistan and the people of AJK.

“Questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan over partisan loyalty to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is unacceptable.”

She added: “The PM of AJK has lost his standing to stay in office for questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan. His comment was irresponsible and has made a mockery of his office and the struggle of the Kashmiri people. He must resign immediately.”

A resolution in this regard was submitted in the Punjab Assembly by PPP.

PTI’s central leader Fawad Chaudhry has even demanded Raja Haider’s arrest over the statement.

Senator Sehar Kamran of PTI submitted an Adjournment Motion earlier Monday in the Senate of Pakistan over the reported remarks of AJK PM.

She said such a statement mocks the sacrifices made by the people of Kashmir who, till date, are striving for accession to Pakistan. This issue is also of vital significance for Pakistan’s national interests, she added.

All Pakistan Muslim League president Sheikh Rasheed also demanded Raja’s resignation on the “unfortunate and outrageous” statement.

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have every right to be concerned and express my reservations,” he said.

The AJK PM also requested media houses and other parties “not to drag Kashmir in their personal wars”.

Earlier on Sunday, Raja Farooq had said the future of Kashmiris was linked to Pakistan’s prosperity.

“Kashmiris do not have any option other than Pakistan and have been trying to become a part of the country since the past 70 years,” he had said.

Opposition’s demand

The opposition parties have demanded resignation from Raja Farooq over his controversial statement about annexation of Kashmir.

Addressing a joint news conference with Gilgit-Baltistan’s chief minister a couple of days ago, Raja was reported to be saying that “[Kashmir] will decide which country to annex to”.

In a statement on Monday, Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Sherry Rehman said: “It was shocking to hear such a statement coming from the PM of AJK. His loyalty should be with Pakistan and the people of AJK.

“Questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan over partisan loyalty to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is unacceptable.”

She added: “The PM of AJK has lost his standing to stay in office for questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan. His comment was irresponsible and has made a mockery of his office and the struggle of the Kashmiri people. He must resign immediately.”

A resolution in this regard was submitted in the Punjab Assembly by PPP.

PTI’s central leader Fawad Chaudhry has even demanded Raja Haider’s arrest over the statement.

Senator Sehar Kamran of PTI submitted an Adjournment Motion earlier Monday in the Senate of Pakistan over the reported remarks of AJK PM.

She said such a statement mocks the sacrifices made by the people of Kashmir who, till date, are striving for accession to Pakistan. This issue is also of vital significance for Pakistan’s national interests, she added.

All Pakistan Muslim League president Sheikh Rasheed also demanded Raja’s resignation on the “unfortunate and outrageous” statement.