PESHAWAR - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting (SAPM) Firdous Ashiq Awan on Thursday told a seminar that the hegemonic policies of Modi government and the worst human rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) had exposed the real face of the secular India.

Speaking at Peshawar Press Club, Firdous said the inhuman treatment being meted out to the besieged innocent Kashmirs in the held valley by the Indian occupation forces had made the opponents of Two Nation Theory repentant.

She said revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution had exposed nefarious designs of Narendra Modi government against the Kashmiris. “His government’s unpopular steps have proved that there is no room for minorities in India,” she added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai, Advisor to the KP Chief Minister on Merged Districts Ajmal Wazir, PPC President Syed Bukhar Shah, Kashmiri leadership, politicians, civil society representatives, human rights activists, journalists and lawyers attended the seminar.

UNSC meeting on Kashmir India’s defeat

Referring to PM Modi’s speech on the occasion of India’s independence day on Thursday, the special assistant to the PM said the Indian PM seemed to be living in a fool’s paradise as Pakistan was fully capable of defending itself against any misadventure by him.

She said the entire Pakistani nation stood by the valiant security forces and was ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with them in case a war was imposed on the country.

Firdous said Pakistanis were a resilient nation, who have a strong faith in the Almighty Allah and do not merely rely on weapons. “Pakistan has defeated terrorism by giving matchless sacrifices of both civilians and military personnel, and established the government’s writ in all restive areas in a short span of time,” she added.

Firdous termed holding of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on the Kashmir issue after five decades a diplomatic victory for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for which, she added, credit went to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Russia has also supported Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue as the civilized world is now taking notice of Modi’s illegal and unilateral step to change the special autonomous status of the IoK,” she added.

Special assistant to the PM commented that the forthcoming UNSC meeting on Kashmir was actually India’s defeat since this would negate its longstanding claim that Kashmir was its internal matter.

Firdous said PM Imran had effectively presented the Kashmir case at all international forums and had won the hearts and minds of people of the disputed territory with his historic speech at the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on August 14.

The prime minister, she said, had declared in his speech that he was an ambassador of the Kashmiri people, and would leave no stone unturned until the Kashmiris achieved their right to self-determination. “We all are the lawyers of suppressed Kashmiris,” she added.

She said PM Imran was taking the mission of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah forward by strengthening the national institutions, establishing a corruption-free society, maintaining rule of law, equality and supremacy of merit. “That is why those elements, who had opposed the Quaid, have now ganged up against the prime minister,” she claimed.

Firdous said she saluted the people of KP for rejecting the family politics, and reposing full confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan twice. The special assistant said by abrogating Article 370, Narendra Modi had shown a complete disregard for his country’s constitution and negated judgements of the Supreme Court.

The IoK, she said, had virtually been turned into a jail with curfew imposed for the last 12 days. “The Kashmiris were not even allowed to offer the Eid prayers and sacrifice animals,” she lamented.

Firdous said lives of Kashmiris had been made miserable as even the pregnant women were not allowed to visit hospitals. “Such Indian acts are highly condemnable and the world, including human rights organisations, should take notice of the genocide of Kashmiris in the occupied valley,” she demanded. Firdous was of the view that not only the Muslims but all the minorities in India had been pushed towards the wall.

She said categorically that Pakistan could not, and would not remain silent on the Indian forces’ atrocities in the held valley, and would continue to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to the  Kashmiris till the achievement of their right to self-determination as promised by the United Nations.

She opined the media was the first line of defence and its role in national integration and exposing the human rights abuses in IoK was of paramount importance. “The independent media is not allowed to enter the IoK, which is a clear violation of freedom of speech and expression, besides a stigma on the face of so-called secular India,” the special assistant to the PM added.

The special assistant said the purpose of observing India’s independence day as black day was to express solidarity with the people of held valley. “Pakistan will go to any extent for the Kashmir cause and its armed forces were fully alert to thwart any nefarious design of the enemy,” she warned.

Two young Pakistani pilots, Firdous said, had taught a lesson to the Indian Air Force by shooting down one of its fighter jets on the Line of Control and capturing a pilot, who was later handed over to India on the prime minister’s directive for promoting peace in the region.  She appreciated the PPC management for organising the seminar and promoting the just cause of Kashmir.

She invited the PPC president and his cabinet members to Islamabad for discussing the matters pertaining to the press club building and resolution of other problems being faced by the journalists of Peshawar.

Later, PPC President Syed Bukhar Shah presented a traditional ‘Chadar’ to Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.