By: ENS & PTI
Pakistan Thursday observed its annual ritual of ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif describing Kashmir as his country’s “jugular vein”.
Sharif, while addressing a joint session of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s assembly in Muzaffarabad, said he has had an emotional bond with Kashmir since childhood and would continue to struggle for the rights of the people of Kashmir, which is the “jugular vein of Pakistan”.
Sharif’s remarks drew sharp reaction from India which said it was high time Pakistan focuses on its own problems.
“We are aware that there are multiplicity of activities that are being undertaken in Pakistan by their leaders and unsavoury elements who are wanted elsewhere. Pakistan’s self-destructive and futile quest for territorial aggrandisement in J&K is well-known,” said Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs. He was responding to a question about India’s position on rallies and speeches by various parties and groups, including banned terrorist outfit JuD, being held in Pakistan on Thursday.
“It’s high time for Pakistan to start paying attention to the problems that afflict them rather than covet what is not theirs and never will be,” he said, asserting that J&K will always remain part of India.
Earlier, Sharif said lasting peace in South Asia is possible only with the just resolution of the Kashmir issue. “The future of more than 150 crore of people in this region is linked to the Kashmir issue.”
He said no decision against the wishes of people of Kashmir will be accepted by the Pakistan government. “The only just solution of Kashmir is through giving the right of self-determination to its people,” he said. “Time is not far away when the clouds of oppression will shed and the Kashmiri people will see the dawn of independence,” he was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan.
“There will be no compromise… This is an issue for the whole nation and with our determination and resolve, we will make progress,” he said.
Sharif said it was the responsibility of his government to provide continued support to Kashmir.