Islamabad    -   Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Indian oppressive tactics cannot subjugate Kashmiris and expressed the hope that their just struggle for right to self-determination will soon lead to their independence.

“Narendra Modi has committed a mistake [by illegally annexing Kashmir], he has played his last card,” he told the participants of a ‘human chain’ formed here at the Constitution Avenue to express solidarity with Kashmiris on Friday.

Imran Khan said the Indian prime minister wrongly thinks that the people of India-occupied Kashmir (IOK) would accept the decision of revoking Article 370.

He expressed regret over international media’s giving huge coverage to the protests in Hong Kong and ignoring Kashmir, where the crisis was much deeper and wider and which was an occupied territory unlike Hong Kong.

Thousands of the people had turned up to form the human chain, which stretched across the Constitution Avenue, to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir, living under curfew for the last over two months.

The people, assembled on Prime Minister Khan’s call, included workers of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), students of various educational institutions, government employees and citizens from cross sections of society.

The flags of Pakistan and Kashmir were fluttering across the Constitution Avenue with the national songs being played loudly. The people waved the flags and chanted slogans “Kashmir Banay Ga Pakistan” and “Long Live Pakistan.”

The event was in continuation of the government’s decision to observe each Friday as a day of solidarity with the people of Kashmir and convey a clear message to India that the whole Pakistani nation stood by their Kashmiri brethren.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who proudly calls himself the ‘Ambassador of Kashmir’, led the human chain activity, which was also attended by President Dr Arif Alvi, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and federal ministers as well as PTI leaders from across the country.

“Modi doesn’t know that what the Kashmiri people have faced in the last several decades, it has eliminated the fear of death among them. Tens of thousands of Kashmiri people will not accept the decision and come out when the curfew is lifted,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“We have gathered today to deliver a message” that the Pakistani nation stands with the Kashmiris, he said addressing the attendants at Prime Minister’s Office, which is close to the Diplomatic Enclave that houses most of the foreign embassies and missions.

“We are repeatedly giving the message to the world that eight million Kashmiris have been under siege for over two months, and our movement for human rights of Kashmiris will become a sea one day”, he emphasised.

He said the Pakistani nation will always stand by the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir and will continue supporting them.

Criticism of world media

The premier regretted the wall-to-wall coverage of the Hong Kong protests by international media, and the relative silence surrounding the treatment of the people of Kashmir.

“I want to highlight the issue of double standards as Kashmir is not a part of India while Hong Kong is a part of China but the proportion of coverage of the Kashmiri people is far less as compared to the issue of Hong Kong,” he said.

To bring home his point he also compared the nature and scale of the problems at the two places. He said as far as he knows only two to three people had died in different incidents during the Hong Kong protests and international media continues flashing.

On the other hand, he said, the world media was ignoring Kashmir where 100,000 people have been killed over 30 years and dozens are brutalised by the occupying forces every day. The crisis has worsened since the clampdown that was imposed over two months ago by New Delhi, he added.

Earlier in the morning, the prime minister also tweeted on the subject saying, “I am puzzled as to how international media continues to give headline coverage to Hong Kong protests but ignores the dire human rights crisis in IOJK - an internationally recognized disputed territory illegally annexed by India with 900k troops imposing a siege on 8mn Kashmiris.”

The prime minister told the participants of the human chain that unfortunately money had overpowered humanity because the countries had their interests attached with India which happens to be a market of above one billion people.

He however assured the gathering comprising men, women and children that their movement for restoration of Kashmiris’ rights would come to fruition.

Imran Khan said in his personal interactions and through media he had apprised the world leaders of the real picture of Kashmir, and this was followed by the reaction from the members of the US Congress and the European Parliament, besides the UNSC which had taken up the issue after decades.

On the occasion, huge panaflexes were erected on both sides of the road which were inscribed with pro-Kashmir slogans, with one of them carrying a curfew clock to show the world that Kashmiris had been under lock-down for the last 67 days.

Traffic detour was implemented around the venue to ensure the hassle-free event for Kashmir solidarity as the traffic police was deployed on all closed intersections to guide the commuters.

People distributed the national and Kashmiri flags among the participants and the youngsters were quick to share their selfie moments on social media while holding both the flags as a gesture of support to the cause.