Pakistan’s Punjab Province Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution condemning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Balochistan and Gilgit-Biltistan and asked the federal government to take up the issue at international fora, including the UN.
Tabled by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the unanimously adopted resolution said the House strongly condemned Modi’s statement on Balochistan and Gilgit-Biltistan and termed it as interference in Pakistan’s affairs. “The federal government should raise this matter at international forums including the United Nations. The world should be told about the Modi government’s interference in Pakistan’s affairs,” the resolution said.
Pakistan Peoples Party legislator Khurram Wattoo asked the chair to also request the federal government to sever trade ties with India. Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mahmoodur Rashid alleged that Modi’s statement manifested his policy of intolerance and interference into affairs of other states.
Prime Minister Modi, in his Independence Day speech, had said that he was thanked by the people of Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan, for flagging their problems. PM Modi’s speech sought to bring back the focus on Balochistan, nearly seven years after an India-Pakistan joint statement mentioned it, which led to an outcry over the UPA government’s Pakistan strategy.
While the Prime Minister’s remarks were met with angry reactions from Islamabad and a section of opposition parties in India, it received support from Baloch leaders who thanked him for raising the issue.
Islamabad claimed his remark “only proves Pakistan’s contention that India, through its main intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing, has been fomenting terrorism in Balochistan”.