India’s Kashmir move is a ‘historic blunder’ – PM Khan

A man watches television as Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks to the nation on disputed Kashmir issues, at an electronic market in Karachi on Aug. 26, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 August 2019

India’s Kashmir move is a ‘historic blunder’ – PM Khan

  • Says New Delhi has proved India is only for Hindus and members of other religious minorities can only be its second class citizens
  • Changing his initial stance, US President Donald Trump says he does not need to mediate between the two South Asian nuclear states

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had made a “historic blunder” by trying to integrate the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the Indian union, adding that the Indian leader’s “hubris” would ultimately lead to Kashmir’s independence.
In a televised address to the nation, Khan argued it was the responsibility of the United Nations to protect the people of Kashmir who were living in a security lockdown since August 5 when the Indian administration revoked the autonomy of the divided Himalayan region and cut off its residents from the rest of the world by imposing a near-total communications blackout.
The Pakistani prime minister said New Delhi’s recent Kashmir move had proved that India was only for Hindus and members of other minority religious communities could only be its second class citizens.
Reminiscing the beginning of his term in office, Khan said his administration wanted to normalize relations with Pakistan’s neighbors for greater economic prosperity. “We made several overtures to India,” he noted, “but they were always looking to accuse Pakistan of terrorism.”
Since Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was using an “anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim” election narrative, his government decided to wait for the end of the polls in the neighboring country, thinking the situation would improve after that.
“However, we saw that India was lobbying with other international actors, trying to bankrupt Pakistan by getting it blacklisted at the Financial Action Taskforce,” he continued. “We realized at that time it was futile to talk to its government since it was pursuing a different agenda.”
Khan said that Pakistan had met diplomatic success on the Kashmir issue since it had now been internationalized. He asked the people not to get “disappointed” by the reaction of some Muslim countries who were still not siding with Islamabad over the issue.
“If some countries are not taking up this issue due to their economic interests today, they will sooner or later support our position,” he said.
The prime minister repeated his administration’s claims about India’s intention of carrying out “false-flag operations” to divert attention from the ongoing situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and undertake strikes in Azad Kashmir. However, he added that Pakistani security forces were prepared to respond to any Indian aggression.
Khan’s made his speech hours after United States President Donald Trump met Indian Prime Minister Modi in France, saying he did not need to help mediate between the two South Asian nuclear neighbors since the Indian leader had assured him things were perfectly under control.
In his televised broadcast, however, Khan said he would travel around the world and tell everyone what was happening in Kashmir.
Calling himself the ambassador of the people of Kashmir, he said he would also forcefully raise the issue at the United Nations in his speech on August 27.
“I want to tell Kashmiri people that whether anyone stand with them in the world or not, Pakistan will always support them,” he added.

Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

Updated 29 January 2020

Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

  • Saudi Arabia announced $20 billion investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy in February 2019
  • Cooperation with Saudi with help Islamabad achieve its energy targets – AEDB chief

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Shoura Council has approved a draft agreement between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on renewable energy development.

“The Saudi Shoura Council approves a draft MoU between Saudi Arabia and the government of Pakistan to study investment opportunities in the refining and petrochemical sectors,” the Shoura Council said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“The government of Pakistan will certainly welcome the investment from international investors, including from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar, chief executive of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), told Arab News on Wednesday.

He said that renewable energy cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was initiated in February last year when the draft memorandum was signed during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The government has already signed the MoU with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the development of renewable energy power projects in Pakistan,” Jabbar said.

During the crown prince’s visit, Saudi Arabia announced a $20 billion investment package for Pakistan, which includes the development of a petrochemical complex, renewable energy projects and investment in mineral resources. 

“The government of Pakistan is proactively pursuing the promotion and development of indigenous renewable energy resources through private parties’ participation,” Jabbar said, adding that the cooperation with Saudi Arabia is going to help the Pakistani government achieve its targets of 25 percent renewable energy share in the total energy mix by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

The targets are set in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019 (ARE Policy 2019).