No understanding with India till August 5 move is reversed: Moeed Yusuf

Shahjahan Khurram
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide on national security, Dr Moeed Yusuf, on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of any understanding with India unless New Delhi reversed its unilateral August 5 move of illegally annexing occupied Kashmir.

Yusuf was speaking to digital journalists and bloggers via Zoom to discuss the government’s Kashmir policy, a day ahead of “Yaum-e-Istehsal” when Pakistan plans to highlight Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

"Unless India reverses its August 5 action, there is no question of any understanding with them," he said.

Yusuf said that the state has a perspective on the Kashmir issue and that "Pakistan, indeed, has a story to tell" the world. He agreed on the need for more English-language mediums to better promote Pakistan's message globally regarding the dispute.

"We have nothing to hide [on the Kashmir issue]," he said. "Only one side is hiding [the facts]."

He said that one should not hesitate when it comes to paying respect to the Kashmiris who had been raped, tortured and killed at the hands of the Indian security forces over the years.

"We have to show their [India’s] real face to the world," he said.

In response to a question, Yusuf said that seeing to the fulfilment of Kashmiris’ right to make their own decisions is Pakistan's “endgame”.

"Our first target is [to get reversed the actions of] August 5," he said, adding however that India was headed on a path where there was “no reverse gear”.

He said that the August 5 move will be reversed by Kashmiris and that Pakistan will provide a "helping hand".

Idea of India ‘capturing’ Azad Kashmir ‘laughable’

In response to a query on talks of India preparing to attack or capture Azad Kashmir, the premier’s aide completely dismissed such a possibility.

"You can absolutely forget about it," he said.

"Don't even think about it. Nothing like this can happen, our [armed] forces are there. This [talk of capturing AJK] is [New Delhi's] attempt to divert and detract from the Kashmir issue," Yusuf added.

He termed the possibility “laughable”, once again urging participants to pay no heed to such talk.

The premier's special assistant said that India's narrative regarding occupied Kashmir had seen a battering worldwide, with New Delhi being called out multiple times for its atrocities in the disputed territory.

New map and other measures

He spoke about the new map released by Pakistan, stressing that it will be used in all textbooks henceforth. "Why did we release the map today? [We know], of course, there is going to be a reaction in India.”

"We have decided that from now on, we will call the region ‘Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’," he said, adding that since India had committed a violation of international law, the decision to name the map as such was taken.

Delving into the “Yaum-e-Istehsal” campaign, Yusuf said that the theme for the campaign was focused on India's state terrorism, and that the government of Pakistan was reminding the world of Indian atrocities.

He said that Pakistan had undertaken measures such as renaming the Kashmir Highway to Srinagar Highway, and that he and the foreign minister had paid a visit to the Line of Control (LoC) to express solidarity with Kashmiris and Pakistani troops.

Yusuf also spoke of the government's “Prisoners of Conscience” campaign. "The campaign features Kashmiri prisoners, some of them 30 years old and others 20 years old, as well as their spouses. We have crafted stories about them and will highlight them on international media," he said.

He said that the government is also drawing attention to the iconic places in occupied Kashmir and the atrocities committed there against the local population.

'Not involved in India-China dispute'

Addressing a query on the Ladakh border dispute between India and China which resulted in the killing of at least 20 Indian soldiers, Yusuf said that Pakistan was not involved in any capacity.

"It [Ladakh clash] may have happened partly due to the August 5 move," he said.

"India claimed territory which is part of China and Pakistan. We are not directly involved in it," the premier’s aide said.

'Fight against the odds'

When bloggers raised concerns regarding videos on Kashmir posted by social media influencers', which were taken down by digital media giants Facebook and YouTube, Yusuf said that it was a “tough fight against the odds".

"We will have to fight and we will continue to fight," he said. "We are hoping for your support," he added.

However, the special assistant said that he would not lie about finding a solution to the problem. "I will not lie to you and say we will fix this," said Yusuf, adding that he will "definitely take this [Facebook, YouTube issue] up."

When asked whether Pakistan can use the factual blunders and war mongering tactics of the Indian media on the Kashmir conflict, Yusuf said that it was important for Pakistan to make use of its own narrative.

"While there is no debate [on using the obvious factual errors made by the Indian media], I believe we should project our own narrative," he said.

Yusuf pointed out how people had laughed at the prime minister at first when he started likening Modi to Hitler. However, the special assistant said that were he to point out the similarities between Modi and Hitler's actions, it would make for a startling revelation.