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Nawaz Sharif or Imran Khan, who chose pro-India policy at the cost of Kashmir cause?

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz has slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan for not doing anything for the people of Indian- occupied Kashmir. Did Nawaz Sharif fight for the Kashmiris during his term in the office?

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz has slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan for not doing anything for the people of Indian- occupied Kashmir.

She was peaking during a jalsa in Muzaffarabad as part of the party’s election campaign, Maryam said that the PML-N will save Azad Kashmir from the “selected government,” adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan has sold out Kashmir to India. “Imran Khan has left Kashmir to the mercy of India, so no matter how much he tries to stage a drama, everyone knows that he was involved in the trade,” she said.

The PML-N vice-president also asked who has given the premier a right to sell the blood of Kashmiris. “I ask Imran Khan, who gave him the right to sell the blood of Kashmiris [to India]?”

Notably, the PML-N leader sought to remind the gathering that she is a Kashmiri with Kashmiri blood coursing through her veins. She said that the “son of Kashmir”, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (party supremo), will “fight every fight” for Kashmiris. “He will fight for your rights, he will fight for your independence and he will see to it that victory falls into your very laps,” she said.

On the contrary, in Pakistan, diplomatic community and political commentators often question Nawaz Sharif’s policy towards India. Recently, former spokesperson for the Foreign Office Tasneem Aslam claimed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had barred the FO from commenting against India and its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

“Nawaz Sharif did not want to say anything against India and Jadhav through the Foreign Office,” she claimed during an interview with a YouTube channel being run by an Islamabad-based journalist, Isa Naqvi.

Ms Aslam worked as Foreign Office spokesperson twice — first from 2005 to 2007 during the regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf and then during the last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government between 2013 and 2017.

Asked if Mr Sharif’s instruction benefited the country, she said: “It did not benefit the country but I do not know whether it benefited his [Nawaz’s] own interests or not.”

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Ms Aslam said Mr Sharif had business interests in India and he did not meet leaders of India-held Kashmir’s political party Hurriyat Conferences when he visited India as the prime minister. “Usually, every prime minister of Pakistan meets Hurriyat leaders but Nawaz Sharif did not meet them when he visited India.”

How Nawaz government facilitated India in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case?

In Yadhav’s case, PTI and PPP opposed the Nawaz-government decision to contest the case before the International Court of Justice which, according to popular perception, proved to be beneficial for the Indian establishment.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari recently said in the National Assembly that the country “should never have gone to the ICJ in the first place” and recalled that both PTI and PPP had opposed the PML-N government’s decision to do so.

“From the first day, we had said that it was wrong of the then government [to go to ICJ] and it was not just our party’s stance, it was the PPP’s as well,” she said.

The minister said that during its tenure, the PML-N had written a letter to the ICJ declaring that the country was restricting the international court’s jurisdiction. Despite that letter, she said, the PML-N government decided to contest the case in the ICJ after India took it there.

She pointed out that PPP and PTI — both of which were in opposition of the move— had raised objections over the then government’s decision to contest the case as “there was no reason to do so”.

Read More: Nawaz Sharif is furthering India’s narrative against Pakistan, PM Khan

“If one country does not accept the ICJ’s [jurisdiction], the case is not heard,” she told the house.

She recalled that PPP Senator Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar were also part of a joint parliamentary committee meeting in which the matter was discussed.

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