Pakistan opposition parties are not likely to take part in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s controversial appeal to the nation to observe Kashmir Solidarity Hour on Friday by coming out on roads from 12 noon to 12.30pm to give a message to the world that Pakistan stands by the Kashmiris. Opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which is facing onslaught from Imran Khan’s PTI government plans separate programmes to highlight the issue.
However, a section of Pakistani commentators has questioned the utility of such moves and said nothing will come out of organising such “political gimmickry”.
Notwithstanding their criticism, the predicament of the opposition parties is that they could not overtly oppose the move as it will be painted as “anti-national” step. The opposition parties, on the other hand, have stepped up their attack on Imran Khan, saying that its foreign policy is a “complete failure”.
Meanwhile, reports from Pakistan indicate that all education institutions, government and private offices, banks, traders, lawyers and military authorities will take part in Solidarity Day programmes. Traffic signals will turn red, trains will stop plying and government machinery will come to a standstill during 12-12.30pm.
According to reports, sirens will be sounded and the national anthem will be played at 12noon across the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend a gathering outside the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and later address the nation from there, reports Dawn.
Pakistani commentator Zahid Hussain states: “The latest crisis has badly exposed the amateurishness of our leadership in dealing with critical issues. The irresistible fondness of our foreign minister to be in the limelight has made a parody of diplomacy. Long harangues at frequent press talks, TV interviews and twitter messages every minute and on everything, turn serious matters into political gimmickry.”