PA considers inviting Arundhati Roy to talk on Kashmir

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Treasury MPA Sheikh Allauddin has suggested the Punjab Assembly to invite Indian novelist and rights activist Arundhati Roy, who is raising her voice against Indian atrocities in Kashmir, for briefing the assembly members on the issue.

Labour and Human Resource Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar appreciated the suggestion and drew attention of the house towards its legal and diplomatic aspects. He said the Foreign Office might be approached in this respect and the next step should be taken in the light of the FO advice.

The Punjab Assembly on Thursday again expressed solidarity with the Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom from India.

On a point of order, treasury member Ramesh Singh Arora raised the issue of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement against Pakistan. Terming the statement regrettable, he demanded the Foreign Office summon the Indian ambassador to record a protest. He said New Delhi was not only committed atrocities against the Kashmiris for demanding their right to franchise but also accusing Islamabad of fomenting violence in Kashmir. The propaganda against Pakistan must be checked, he said.

Parliamentary secretary Rana Arshad told the house that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had formed a committee of parliamentarians to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums and expose the violent face of Indian government to the world.

Opposition leader Mahmoodur Rasheed condemned the elements in the country that were working against its solidarity. He said a man (a reference to Altaf Hussain) talked against the dignity and integrity of the country while sitting in the UK but lamented that the government had not yet initiated any action against him.

Various MPAs, on the occasion, chanted slogans against those who did not show loyalty to Pakistan.

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