Shehbaz accuses Imran of ‘selling Kashmir’s future’

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Islamabad, Aug 10 (IANS) Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif has accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of “selling the future of Kashmir”.

During a joint session of of the National Assembly on Friday, the lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N accused each other of “trying to appease Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi” on different occasions in the past, Dawn newspaper reported.

Shehbaz Sharif said Khan had “sold the future of Kashmir” and that there was a “nexus between the Pakistani government and the (country’s anti-corruption body) National Accountability Bureau”.

The Indian government on Monday had scrapped the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, a move that received widespread flak from the Pakistani leadership.

Following New Delhi’s decision, Islamabad expelled the Indian envoy, decided to suspend bilateral trade and review bilateral arrangements.

Referring to the arrest of his niece and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and nephew Yousuf Abbas, Shehbaz Sharif said that the atmosphere of harmony and unity created by the opposition in Parliament on Kashmir issue was marred by the government to meet “agenda of political victimization”.

“The opposition created an atmosphere of harmony after Modi’s decision to strip occupied Kashmir of its special status. But the government with the arrest of Maryam shredded that unity,” he added.

Shehbaz Sharif claimed that the top leaders of the opposition parties, including Maryam Nawaz, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, politicians Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah, Hamza Shahbaz, Miftah Ismail and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, were arrested to divert public attention from the Kashmir issue.

“But we are not afraid of such tactics and will never bow before the government,” he added.

In response to opposition members’ accusation that the PTI government was trying to distract the nation from the Kashmir issue, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan said that “Modi had flown to Pakistan to attend the wedding of Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter”, Dawn reported.

“It was not Imran Khan who had invited Modi, but you,” the state Minister told Shehbaz Sharif.



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