Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech, Pakistan claimed on Monday that this proved its contention that India has been allegedly “fomenting terrorism” in the province.
Pakistan also asserted that the situation in Balochistan cannot be equated with Kashmir.
Pakistan prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz said Modi was trying to divert world attention from the “grim tragedy” that has been unfolding in Kashmir over the past five weeks.
The reference to Balochistan, which is an integral part of Pakistan, “only proves Pakistan’s contention that India, through its main intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has been fomenting terrorism in Balochistan”, Aziz was quoted as saying by a Foreign Office statement.
Aziz’s remarks came after Prime Minister Modi brought up Pakistani atrocities on people of Balochistan and PoK in his Independence Day speech on Monday.
“From the ramparts of the Red Fort, I want to express my gratitude to some people -- the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) -- for the way they whole- heartedly thanked me, the way they expressed gratitude to me, the way they conveyed their goodwill to me recently,” Modi said.
This is for the first time the disturbed areas in the control of Pakistan have been mentioned by an Indian prime minister during his Independence Day speech.
Aziz claimed that India’s involvement was confirmed by the public confession of “RAW’s active service Naval Officer” Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March this year from Balochistan.
Thousands of unarmed youth are protesting every day for their right of self determination in Kashmir, where more than 70 innocent Kashmiris have been killed and more than 6,000 injured, while there is constant curfew and complete media blackout for the past 37 days, Aziz said.
“These events have nothing to do with terrorism. It is an indigenous movement for self determination, a right promised to the Kashmiris by the UN Security Council,” he said.
He claimed that at this time, the contrast between Kashmir and PoK could not be more stark.
Aziz said India is a large country, “in fact, the second (seventh) largest in the world and this must be acknowledged, but a large country does not automatically become a great country, specially when it unleashes such brute force against innocent citizens to suppress their right to protest or when it deliberately uses pallet guns to permanently destroy the eyesight of over 100 youth”.
He said India should recognise that the core issue of Kashmir cannot be resolved by bullets and needed a political solution, through serious negotiations between India and Pakistan.