Prime minister warns Pakistanis against jihad in Kashmir 

Prime Minister Imran Khan talking to Media after the ground breaking of new border terminal at Torkham, Khyber district on September 18, 2019. ( PID photo)
Updated 18 September 2019

Prime minister warns Pakistanis against jihad in Kashmir 

  • Khan’s statement comes a day after India’s foreign minister vowed to retake Pakistan-administered Kashmir
  • Bilateral tensions escalated on Aug 5. when Delhi abrogated Muslim-majority Kashmir’s special legal status

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warned citizens Wednesday that anyone who goes to fight jihad in Kashmir will hurt the territory’s cause, as anger simmers between Islamabad and New Delhi over the disputed region.
Indian authorities are waiting for “any excuse” to crack down in the Himalayan region, he warned, promising again to raise the issue at the United Nations General Assembly next week.
Tensions have spiked over Kashmir, parts of which are administered by both India and Pakistan, since Delhi moved on August 5 to revoke the autonomy of the portion it controls.
Since then, leaders in both countries have engaged in an escalating war of words, with Delhi warning that Pakistan — long believed to be using proxy militant groups in Kashmir — was planning attacks.
Islamabad has promised to stand by the Kashmiris following the move and publicly accused India of carrying out a potential “genocide” in the region.
India has flooded its side of Kashmir with troops in a security clampdown to prevent any violence, igniting outrage in Pakistan.
“If someone from Pakistan goes to India to fight... he will be the first to do an injustice to Kashmiris, he will be the enemy of Kashmiris,” Khan said during a speech in Torkham, on the border with Afghanistan.
“They need an excuse,” he said of Indian troops. “It will provide them an excuse for torture and barbarism.”
Kashmir, split between the two countries since 1947, has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between them.
Khan spoke after Pakistan fired back Wednesday at Delhi’s “jingoistic rhetoric” when India’s foreign minister vowed to retake Islamabad’s portion of Kashmir.
“We strongly condemn and reject” the remarks, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement hours after Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a press conference Tuesday that Pakistani-controlled Kashmir is “part of India and we expect one day that we will have the... physical jurisdiction over it.”
In the latest move, Pakistan said Wednesday it had denied Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi permission to fly through its airspace due to the “situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.”
“Keeping in mind the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir and India’s behavior and the cruelty and barbarism, the violation of rights being done there, it has been decided that the Indian PM will not be allowed,” to use Pakistan’s airspace, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a video statement posted on social media.
Qureshi said Modi had requested to use Pakistani airspace on September 20 and 28 for a trip to and from Germany.
Tensions have spiraled since New Delhi’s move on its side of the de facto border — the Line of Control — to change the status of the Himalayan territory, with Pakistan repeatedly likening Modi to Hitler and calling for international intervention.
Khan has held demonstrations across the country to protest against the move and will highlight the issue later this month at the UN General Assembly in New York.


Pakistanis among dead in Madinah bus accident

Updated 17 October 2019

Pakistanis among dead in Madinah bus accident

  • The crash took place when a privately chartered bus carrying 39 pilgrims collided with a loader
  • Reports indicate only four bus passengers survived the tragedy, some in critical condition

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday expressed profound grief and sorrow over the tragic road accident that claimed the lives of 35 pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports, the accident happened when a privately chartered bus carrying 39 passengers collided with a loader near Madinah at about 7pm on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s foreign office confirmed in a press statement that “the deceased also include a certain number of Pakistani nationals.”

“Of the four survivors,” the handout continued, “there is one Pakistani named Mr. Akbar, who is seriously injured. The Pakistan Consulate General in Jeddah has established contact with him and is in touch with the concerned Saudi authorities and staff of the King Fahad Hospital, Madinah, to ascertain details of casualties of Pakistani nationals.”

Reacting to the development, the foreign minister said his ministry was in touch with the Saudi authorities to ascertain the causes of the accident.

“Our diplomatic mission is in contact with the Saudi authorities to ensure that the injured get the best medical facilities and the bodies of the deceased are smoothly flown back to Pakistan,” Qureshi added.