‘Kashmiris’ blood is flowing on roads…’: PM Shehbaz Sharif on Indo-Pak ties

Soon after he was elected as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif in his inaugural speech on Monday (April 11) raised the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and alleged that the people in the Valley were “bleeding” and Pakistan will provide them with “diplomatic and moral support” besides raising the matter at every international fora.

The 70-year-old leader, who replaced Imran Khan after a high voltage political tussle, said he wanted good relations with India, but it cannot be achieved without the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

He said that neighbours are not a matter of choice, it is something we have to live with and unfortunately Pakistan’s ties with India were never not good since its inception.

He attacked Khan for not making “serious and diplomatic efforts” when India abrogated Article 370 in August 2019.

“When the forceful encroachment was done in August 2019 and Article 370 was abrogated, what serious efforts did we make…What serious diplomacy did we try…Kashmiris’ blood is flowing on roads of Kashmir and the Kashmir Valley is red with their blood,” said Shehbaz, the younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

He expressed a desire for better ties with India but linked it with the Kashmir issue. “We want good ties with India but durable peace is not possible until the Kashmir dispute is resolved,” he said, adding that Pakistan would continue to provide political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Kashmir.

Shehbaz also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come forward to address the Kashmir issue so that the two countries could concentrate on tackling poverty, unemployment, shortage of medicines and other issues on the two sides of the border.