Pakistan dedicates its Independence Day to “Kashmir’s freedom”, violates ceasefire
Pakistan’s obsession with India was on display once again on Sunday when it decided to dedicate its Independence Day to “Kashmir’s freedom”.
“I dedicate this year’s 14th August to the freedom of Kashmir,” Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in his message for the Independence Day, according to The Express Tribune.
“I dedicate it to the people of Kashmir who have bravely faced state oppression but kept the spirit of freedom alive. This Independence is also memorable due to the fact that nowadays the spirit of independence in Occupied Kashmir is at its peak,” Sharif said in a statement issued by the PM House.
Back in Delhi, where Pakistan High Commission was celebrating the Independence Day, the similar message was echoed.
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, at an event marking Jashn e Azadi on Sunday, said, “Is saal ki Jashn e Azadi hum Kashmir ki Azadi ke naam karte hain (We dedicate this year’s Independence Day celebration to Kashmir’s freedom).”
Pakistan has always made efforts to improve its relationship with India, Basit said.
India yesterday shot down Nawaz Sharif’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz’s offer of an exclusive dialogue with New Delhi on Kashmir and said it will welcome a discussion with Pakistan on relevant issues.
"India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
“At this time they include a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism, infiltration of terrorists like Bahadur Ali, incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally recognized terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and sincere follow-up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation in Pakistan," he stated.
India suspended bilateral dialogue with Pakistan after gunmen attacked an Indian air base at Pathankot in January. India had blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group for the attack.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked firing at Indian positions near the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday in the Poonch district of Jammu region.
Army spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta said Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked firing at our positions near the LoC in Poonch district early morning today (Sunday).
"They used small arms and automatics to target our positions. The Indian army has retaliated using same caliber weapons," he added.