Islamabad’s military support sought for ‘freedom movement’ in held Kashmir

MUZAFFARABAD: A large number of Kashmiri men, women and children paraded through the main boulevard of Muzaffarabad, calling upon Islamabad to extend military support to an ongoing struggle in held Kashmir against Indian rule.

The rally was organized by the Pasban-i-Hurriyat Jammu Kashmir (PHJK), an organization comprising post-1990 migrants from India-held Kashmir, to condemn the killing of six youth by Indian troops in held Kashmir on Sunday.

At least four people had been shot dead by the Indian army in Shopian over the weekend during an alleged exchange of gunfire with a suspected militant.

On Monday two more bodies were found, raising the toll to six and triggering widespread protests across the occupied territory.

“The oppressed people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir need and seek Pakistan’s military support against India,” read a banner carried by women at the rally. Alongside them, men carried another, which asked: “Why is the international community silent over the killing of six youth in Shopian?”

“For the last seven decades, Kashmiris have been calling upon the United Nations and the international community to resolve their issue and to let them live a peaceful life, but to no avail,” said Uzair Ahmed Ghazali, organiser of the event.

He said the Shopian killings “were the latest example of the fact that Indian troops could kill anyone anywhere in held Kashmir with impunity.”

“We have had enough of political, moral and diplomatic support. It’s not working. A lot of blood has been shed in occupied Kashmir and the people there are desperately calling or immediate military support from Pakistan,” Ghazali said.

He believed that, being party to an internationally-acknowledged dispute, Pakistan would be fully justified in extending military support to Kashmiris “because India was not only refusing implementation of UN resolutions but it had also unleashed a reign of terror on the Kashmiri people.”

Ghazali, who was born on the other side of the divide, was not alone in calling for military intervention. Many locals echoed his views.

Religious scholar Mufti Kifayat Hussain Naqvi said the only solution to the festering Kashmir issue was “jihad,” coupled with Pakistan’s military support.

The time has come for the armed forces of Pakistan to swing into action [in held Kashmir]. We will fight alongside them,” he asserted.

He also asked the people to gear themselves up, as “time was nearing to declare an open war with India.”

The religious leader was also opposed to the ban on Jamaatud Dawa’s Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. “There should not be any ban on Hafiz Saeed. He is on the true path towards the freedom of Kashmir.”

Hafiz Abdul Samad, a lawyer affiliated with the Jamaat-i-Islami, called for a consistent struggle “that should not be restricted to just one rally”.

“Pakistan should declare war against India: we will fight shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces. In fact, they will find us ahead of them at the battleground,” he said.

Others who spoke on the occasion included trade union leader Abdul Razzaq Khan, PPP leader Shaukat Javed Mir, Maryam Kashmiri of the PML-N, Danial Shahab of Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Usman Ali of PHJK, and Sobia Saeed, a second-year student from a migrant family.

Participants of the rally alleged that the Indian army “had been given a license to kill Kashmiris” in an attempt to suppress their popular uprising.

They said Kashmiris had been writing a new chapter of sacrifices in the modern history, and the brutish treatment of their legitimate struggle warranted Islamabad’s immediate military intervention in the held territory.

Judiciary parliament should avoid entering into controversy, Raza Rabbani

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani on Tuesday lauded the Supreme Court for demonstrating restraint and not“entering into controversy and assured that the judiciary and parliament both aim to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

Raza Rabbani, while addressing the House on Tuesday, said that following the situation that has developed over the past few days he was compelled to draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Pakistan in a spirit of understanding.

The Senate chairman remarked that while the Supreme Court had demonstrated restraint in the matter of Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta vs Federation of Pakistan and refrained from entering into the controversy, other courts and judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals under the Constitution, or any other law, must exhibit the same example.

The Chief Justice had, in a self-authored decision, shown constraint in going beyond the veil of internal proceedings for the Bhutta case, Raza Rabbani said, adding that the judiciary and parliament do not serve separate interests and the aim of both is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani expressed disappointment over the issuance of notice to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly speaker. He was referring to a hearing in the Peshawar High Court on March 2, in which Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan had issued a notice to KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, asking him to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him.

The notice was issued over a petition filed by imprisoned MPA-elect Baldev Kumar, who claimed that despite the court’s order, he was not allowed to take the oath of his office.

Similarly, Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani sought to draw attention to another case for which he said, Information sought by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) also infringes heavily upon the well-established concept of  internal proceedings of the parliament.”

IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had directed the National Assembly and Senate Secretariats to submit a report providing details regarding exactly who took the decision to enact the Election Act, 2017 and when the decision was made.

Also, details were sought for who prepared the draft, the particulars of the committee involved and who gave approval for the draft bill.

Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani said he would have met the chief justice to “iron out these intra-institutional and intra-judicial issues” but time restrictions did not permit him to do so.

The office of the Senate Chairman nevertheless is one that operates in perpetuity and seeks an amicable settlement of these jurisdictional issues, he remarked.

He was confident that his successor will carry on this torch, “even if it means calling on the Chief Justice of Pakistan.”