Independence Day: PM Modi rakes up human rights issue in Balochistan, PoK
Signalling a major shift in foreign policy that would mean an aggressive countering of Pakistani propaganda against India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an oblique reference to the human rights situation in Pakistan’s Balochistan province besides Gilgit and other areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In a no-holds barred attack on Pakistan that came towards the end of his Independence Day speech, Modi said he was laying out two scenarios for the world to evaluate.
“I want to place two pictures before the world .. and I say to the world, there are those who believe in humanity and others who glorify terrorists, please weigh these two scenes,” he said. “When innocent people are killed in violent acts of terrorism (in India), there are celebrations (in Pakistan). What kind of a government that is inspired by terrorism (is this), this is what the world needs to see and evaluate.”
The first picture, he said, was one where India stood in solidarity with Pakistan when Islamic militants targeted a military-run school in Peshawar in December 2014 killing some 140 people, including 132 school students.
In contrast was the picture of glorification of a death of a terrorist, he said. The reference was to Pakistan describing Burhan Wani, whom India considers is a militant belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, as a Kashmiri leader.
Then in a surprising move, Modi said: “In the past few days people from Balochistan, people from Gilgit, people from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the people of these areas, they way they have thanked me and have expressed gratitude towards me, people sitting very far away and from places that I haven’t seen, when they respect me then it is respect for 1.25 billion Indians. And so I want to thank the people of Baluchistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Modi said.