Modi crossed ‘red line’ by talking about Balochistan, says Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday said India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed the “red line” by talking about Balochistan and asserted that it will “forcefully” raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session next month.
Modi crossed ‘red line’ by talking about Balochistan, says Pakistan
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Pakistan on Thursday said India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed the "red line" by talking about Balochistan and asserted that it will "forcefully" raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session next month.

"The Prime Minister strongly pleaded the case of Kashmir during General Assembly session last year and we will again forcefully raise the issue," Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.

Zakaria, in his weekly news briefing here, also took strong exception to the remarks by Prime Minister Modi on Balochistan. Prime Minister Modi had brought up Pakistani atrocities on people of Balochistan and PaK in his I-Day speech. "It is the violation of the UN Charter. He (Modi) crossed the red line by talking about Balochistan," Zakaria said.

He said India was involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. Zakaria also claimed that India was referring to Balochistan to cover up its human rights violations in Kashmir.

Zakaria said Prime Minister Sharif will lead the official delegation at the General Assembly session. He said the UN Secretary General and most of the UN members had already been informed about the "precarious situation" in Kashmir. Zakaria said the UN and international community should remind India that it must fulfil its commitment to give the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as per Security Council resolutions.

He said the issue was still outstanding on the Security Council agenda for more than six decades. "Pakistan strongly condemns the continuing use of force by India and violation of human rights. The brutal use of force has killed at least 80 people and at least 100 have been blinded by use of pellet guns," Zakaria alleged.

He said the international community and human rights organisations should call upon India to stop use of "brute force" in Kashmir. Asked about Indian taking action against Amnesty International, he said it showed how India was treating the issue of human rights in Kashmir.

Zakaria said Pakistan had proposed to India to hold talks on Kashmir. However, he refused to confirm if India had responded to the proposal. When asked about any conditions India had put before them for starting dialogue, the spokesman said Pakistan proposed that Kashmir should be the focus of the talks.

Zakaria also claimed that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was aimed at economic development of not only Pakistan and China but the entire region. He said India's objection to such a beneficial economic project was beyond comprehension.

Zakaria said Pakistan had invited finance ministers of SAARC countries for the next week meeting but so far was waiting for confirmation on Arun Jaitley's participation.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri on Thursday dismissed Modi's assertion that people of Balochistan had thanked him.

Zehri, who belongs to ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, while addressing a gathering in provincial capital Quetta, said, "We condemn Narendra Modi's statement on Balochistan. No one in Balochistan supported his statement."

Zehri said there was no comparison between the "struggle for liberation" in Kashmir and the Balochistan insurgency.

Zehri accused India of supporting militancy in Balochistan and said already the network of "Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav" has been smashed.

"The Indian government fully supports the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan," Zehri alleged.

Zehri's remarks come days after a video showing exiled Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti appreciating Modi's speech.

Zehri alleged that "India-sponsored" Brahamdagh Bugti and others were committing terror acts in the province.

"My claims were proven when Brahamdagh Bugti praised Modi. I don't think Brahamdagh should have done that," Zehri said.

"Our so-called nationalists who say they want independence for Balochistan — do you want independence only to become slaves to Hindus?" he asked.

Zehri challenged Bugti to bring 50 people on streets in support of his campaign.

"Balochistan is part of Pakistan and is run by a democratically elected government," the PML-N lawmaker said.

"The Pakistan Army is ours and we will not tolerate any Indian interference in our internal matters. Our fathers and forefathers made the choice to become part of this Islamic Republic of Pakistan," he said.

Meanwhile, Dawn News, in an editorial, said Prime Minister Modi's remarks on I-Day have not helped matters on the bilateral front, or in addressing the unrest in Kashmir.

"Hence, in the midst of all this, Pakistan's call for dialogue makes eminent sense — in fact, this can be an opportunity to revive the Pak-India dialogue process," it said. 

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