A day after Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif from the post of country’s prime minister in Panama Papers leak case, a new controversy has erupted over the comments made by the prime minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The controversy gained further momentum after a leading Pakistani Urdu newspaper, Daily Jung, carried sensational headlines quoting Farooq Haider that ‘Azad Kashmir may now be forced to decide which country it wants to accede to.’
Jung’s front page headlines screamed, “Disqualification of Nawaz Sharif is a rebellion, says Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan. We will now decide which country we accede to, says Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir.”
Haider’s comments implied for the first time that he may not want to stay with Pakistan and accession to India wasn’t an impossible probability.
The headlines immediately elicited a denial from Haider, who said he had never made any remarks on his intention to sever ties with Pakistan.
However, a user, Maleeha Manzoo, posted a video (see below) of Haider, who was was seen saying at a function, “I have to decide as a Kashmiri that which country I would align my fate with.”
Treacherous of AJK PM to insult the struggle of Kashmiris who continue to fight. Kashmir is a far far bigger cause than the corrupt Nawaz! pic.twitter.com/VcaQp9CrJ5
— Maleeha Manzoor (@MaleehaManzoor) July 30, 2017
The Supreme Court yesterday had disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the embattled leader out of office.
Haider’s comments assume huge significance in light of Pakistan’s strained relationship with India, which has accused its neighbour of sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
India, in turn, has raised the issue of alleged human rights violations in Balochistan, a mineral rich Pakistani province.
The latest comments by Haider will no doubt go down incredibly well with the Indian intelligence agencies.