PaK minister bats for 'free admissions' to Kashmiri students

During a visit to the Central Press Club Muzaffarabad, Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, senior minister in PaK cabinet, said Pakistan had nothing to do with Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

A senior minister in Pakistan-administered Kashmir Wednesday called upon Islamabad to provide free admissions and accommodation facilities in universities and professional colleges across the country to the Kashmiri students who were suspended from institutions in India.

During a visit to the Central Press Club Muzaffarabad, Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, senior minister in PaK cabinet, said Pakistan had nothing to do with Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said while the government of India is blaming Pakistan to “cover up its failures in Jammu and Kashmir, unruly mobs are taking revenge of the attack on defence-less Kashmiri students and traders in India under the nose of the authorities”.

“Reports and visuals of assaults on Kashmiri students and traders in different parts of India by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-backed activists are heart-wrenching and warrant for an immediate response on our part,” he said.

Farooq is also a senior vice president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

He was of the view that an all-party meeting on this situation under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan could help find out some way out to provide relief to the “suffering” Kashmiris.

Farooq said Pakistan should also establish an ‘endowment fund’ for the affected Kashmiri families living across the divide.

“Islamabad should seek assistance for the fund from brotherly countries and Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora,” he said, adding, mechanisms to extend compensation to the affected families could be worked out in the meantime.

He stressed that Prime Minister Khan should pay a visit Muzaffarabad at the earliest to send “a strong message not just across the divide but also across the world”. 

Terming premier Khan’s response to India in his yesterday’s speech as “commendable, responsible and comprehensible,” he advised New Delhi to benefit from his offer in the interest of the whole region.

According to him, Simla agreement stood in the way of Kashmiris whenever they tried to raise Kashmir issue on their own.

“While India has withdrawn MFN status from Pakistan and there are voices in India regarding revocation of Indus basin treaty, Pakistan should also get rid of Simla Accord which has turned the international Kashmir issue into a bilateral dispute,” he said.