Congress slams Modi for Balochistan reference says its different from PoK PTI/file photo
news I-day speech Monday, August 15, 2016 - 12:39

Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Monday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for referring to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech, saying it will give Pakistan a reason to interfere in India's internal matters.

"Balochistan is a different thing from PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir). We have every right to speak about PoK because it is our matter. Balochistan is not," Khurshid told TimesNow.

The former external affairs minister said Balochistan was an internal matter of Pakistan. "When the question is about a sovereign nation, we should maintain a sense of restraint.

"Do we allow Americans to speak about atrocities in our country? Do we express concern over the atrocities in Africa and Europe?", he asked.

rime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday openly came out in support of "freedom" for Balochistan and "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" and said India will never tolerate terrorism.

In his over 90-minute Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister also stressed that his government's main aim was to empower the common Indian.

In a first for any Prime Minister, Modi referred to Pakistani human rights abuses in both Balochistan and the part of Kashmir it controls.

"The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan and occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days. I am grateful to them," Modi said, referring to his comments last week on excesses in Pakistan's largest province and in the Pakistani part of Kashmir.

He said the way people from these Pakistani regions "wished me well, gives me great joy".

In thanking an Indian Prime Minister, "they have thanked the whole population of my country", he said. "I want to offer my gratitude to these people."
 

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