Pakistan PM says India planning military action in Azad Kashmir

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses Kashmir's Legislative Assembly on the occasion of Pakistan's Independence Day, in Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Kashmir, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses Kashmir's Legislative Assembly on the occasion of Pakistan's Independence Day, in Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Kashmir, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. (Photo Credit: PID)
Updated 15 August 2019

Pakistan PM says India planning military action in Azad Kashmir

  • “Strategic blunder” by Indian PM to revoke special status of Jammu and Kashmir, impose lockdown, Khan says
  • Warns Modi will pay “heavy price” for his actions against Kashmiris, Pakistan army “fully aware” of Indian plans

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday India was planning military action in Azad Kashmir, referring to the portion of the Himalayan region administered by Pakistan, adding that the international community and multilateral organizations like the United Nations would be responsible for any Indian misadventures in Pakistan. 
India revoked the special status of its portion of Kashmir on August 5 and moved to quell widespread unrest by shutting down communications and clamping down on freedom of movement. Islamabad has retaliated by suspending bilateral trade and all public transport links with India, as well as expelling New Delhi’s top envoy to Islamabad.
On Wednesday as Pakistan celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, Khan traveled to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, in his first visit to the region since becoming Pakistan’s leader in 2018. 
Khan said India planned more extensive action against Pakistan than in February this year when its fighter jets struck inside Pakistan, following a dramatic escalation in tensions.
“They have made a more horrendous plan to divert world attention from their move-in Kashmir, they plan action in Azad Kashmir,” Khan said in his speech to parliament in Muzaffarabad. “The Pakistani army is fully aware that they (India) have made a plan of taking action in Azad Kashmir.”
The PM added that the international community would be responsible for any misadventure against Pakistan by India as Islamabad had repeatedly brought the matter to its notice: “It is now their [international community and United Nations] trial … over a billion Muslims of the world are looking toward the UN for the right to self-determination of Kashmiris and plebiscite in the territory.”
India rules the populous Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around Jammu city, while Pakistan controls Azad Kashmir, a wedge of territory in the west. China holds a thinly populated high-altitude area in the north.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from colonial power Great Britain in 1947, They came close to another one in February after a deadly attack on Indian police by a Pakistan-based militant group resulted in airstrikes by both countries. Pakistan denies state complicity in the attack and has since launched a widespread crackdown against violent and banned organizations within its borders. 
India’s revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir blocks the state’s right to frame its own laws and allows non-residents to buy property there. Modi’s government argues that the old laws prohibiting people from outside Kashmir from buying property, settling there and taking up government jobs had hindered its development.
Restrictions were lifted in five districts of Jammu and nine districts of Kashmir on Monday, India’s home ministry said, adding that security would be heightened for both countries’ Independence Day celebrations and Muslim Friday prayers.
In Islamabad, posters urged residents to express solidarity with Kashmiris and roadside vendors sold Azad Kashmir flags as well as the Pakistan flag commonly displayed on August 14.
Khan called India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and impose a subsequent lockdown on the Kashmiri people a “strategic blunder.”
“Narendra Modi has made a strategic blunder,” the PM said. “He has played his final card, and Modi will now have to pay a heavy price for it. Modi has internationalized the Kashmir issue [through his actions], and now the world’s eyes are on it,” Khan added, vowing to become “an ambassador for Kashmir to raise the voice [of the oppressed].”
Khan also repeated earlier comments comparing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, to the German Nazi Party.
“We are faced with a terrifying ideology – the Hindu nationalist RSS party’s ideology, which Modi has been a member of from childhood,” Khan said. “In this ideology, like Hitler’s Nazi Party, they [BJP] believe in the racial superiority of Hindus and believe in taking revenge from Muslims who ruled them for 600 years.”
“The time has come that we will now teach you [India] a lesson,” Khan said. “Don’t remain in an illusion … you have played your last card and Kashmir will now move toward freedom.”
Representatives of India’s armed forces and its foreign ministry have not responded to Khan’s remarks.


Economic reforms creating real estate opportunities in Pakistan, says property tycoon

Updated 17 min 4 sec ago

Economic reforms creating real estate opportunities in Pakistan, says property tycoon

  • The two-day Pakistan Property Show in Dubai has attracted significant numbers of expat Pakistanis
  • The event has displayed several affordable property options

DUBAI: Pakistan’s economic reforms and tax implementation scheme have benefitted genuine buyers and developed their trust in the country’s real estate market, a senior property expert told Arab News on Friday.
Zeeshan Ali Khan, CEO of Zameen.com, said that despite the global economic downturn in the property business, there was still an opportunity for buyers in Pakistan.
Khan was speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the two-day Pakistan Property Show (PPS) that kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Center on December 6.
He said that while bulk buying was not happening, buyers in the Gulf states were still interested in the property market of his country.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan at the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

The event in Dubai has offered overseas Pakistanis a chance to explore rewarding investment opportunities available in some of the most reliable and promising real estate projects.
In addition, since the exhibition features projects from several major cities of Pakistan, it provides visitors with a great opportunity to explore affordable property options.
Khan said that taking the property exhibition to an international level was a tough undertaking in the beginning, though he added that the PPS had gradually acquired its own brand recognition.
“The success story of this event is a source of pride for Pakistanis living in the Gulf,” he said.
“Increasing investment opportunities in the property sector is vital for setting the sector on track to progress, and the main objective of organizing such events is to circulate money in the investment sector, which, in turn, will benefit the overall economy of Pakistan,” he continued.
“The World Trade Center holds its own exclusive status in terms of trade and investment activities in the region where only the best corporates and business entities can stage their activities, and for a Pakistan-based company to organize such a grand event there is definitely a matter of national pride,” Khan noted.
He also highlighted the fact that most of the online traffic Zameen.com received was from Pakistani expatriates residing in the Gulf countries.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan particpating in the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

“The event thus offers great opportunities to Pakistanis living here to make solid, safe and rewarding investments in reliable real estate developments.”
Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency, Dubai, inaugurated the event.
“I have seen a lot of [Pakistani] companies offering unique projects, sharing data and knowledge from Pakistan to Dubai and Dubai to Pakistan,” he said while interacting with various exhibitors and senior management of Zameen.com.
“Today there are no borders for investment and real estate is the biggest investment that everybody is looking for,” he added.
The PPS 2019 featured the biggest names from Pakistan’s most urban centers, such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, Murree, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Raheem Yar Khan, Gwadar, Bahawalpur and DG Khan.
In the last two editions of the event, the property extravaganza attracted a combined audience of over 31,000. Prominent names among this year’s exhibitors included “Eighteen” and “Capital Smart City.”
The show is organized by Zameen.com and this is the company’s third consecutive annual property exhibition event in Dubai.
Zameen.com has so far held a total of 17 major property exhibitions in different countries, attracting over a million visitors.