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November 1, 2018

AJK president says Chohan’s ‘Kashmiri’ slur hurtful, whipped anger


November 1, 2018

The President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan has said that Punjab Information Minister Fayazul Hasan Chohan’s scornful remarks about Kashmiris were hurtful to Kashmiris and Pakistanis alike and the strong condemnation of the minister was right and intense from all sections of the society.

In an interview London, the AJK president expressed his sorrow over the “Kashmiri slur” that the Punjab information minister which caused protest by a large section of Kashmiris and political parties in Pakistan strongly condemned the minister for his racist and offensive remarks for Kashmiris who have historically laid their lives for Pakistan’s security and integrity.

Sardar Masood Khan said that the scornful use of the word “Kashmiri” by the minister had stirred up widespread outrage among the Kashmiri people.

After speaking to community members and media at Pakistan High Commission, the president was flooded with questions on Chohan by the reporters who told the minister that Kashmiri community in Britain – estimated to be just under 1 million – was in uproar against the offensive remarks of the minister.

In a video which went viral on social media, Chohan called out the names of Sharif family members, who trace their origin to Kashmir, and while doing so, he used “Kashmiri” surname for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, ex-Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz.

“Hamza Shahbaz Kashmiri sahib has again deceived the nation. Pakistan has never witnessed such intimidation in its history,” he said, further addressing the Sharif brothers with Kashmiri surnames in front of the reporters in an insulting and scornful manner. “All this is happening on the instructions of Mian Shahbaz Sharif Kashmiri,” said the PTI minister.

Sardar Masood Khan said: “We saw strong condemnation of Fayazul Hasan Chohan’s remarks in both Kashmir and Pakistan. His own party protested against his remarks. He also clarified when he was told that he should not be using the word ‘Kashmiri’ as a slur and he explained his position.”

The AJK president said that Kashmiris are loyal to Pakistan and consider themselves as Pakistanis. I don’t think its appropriate that Pakistanis should get themselves identified on any line other than as being Pakistani. We are all one and the same.”

When asked whether the Punjab information minister should resign over the offence he has caused, Sardar Masood Khan said that the decision in this regard will rest with the PTI leadership but the fact is that “the PTI has condemned his statement”.

PTI leader and Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur last week condemned the controversial remarks made by Chohan, assuring that the PTI would take action against the latter for using the word “Kashmiri” as a racial slur.

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