Pakistan ‘opens hearts, edu institutions for Kashmiri students’

Snehesh Alex Philip
Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday termed the slapping of sedition charges on 67 Kashmiri students in Uttar Pradesh for cheering the Pakistani cricket team as “very unfortunate” and said its “heart” and educational institutions are always open if they wanted to pursue their studies here.
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said she knows that Kashmiris celebrated Pakistan’s victory against India in the Asia Cup.
“We saw Indian media reports that there were all night celebrations and there were also reports that 67 Kashmiri students were expelled,” she said at her weekly press briefing here at the Foreign Office.
“If these Kashmiri students want to come and pursue their studies in Pakistan, our hearts and academic institutions are open to them,” Aslam said.
Told about the UP police’s move to slap sedition charges against them, a visibly surprised Aslam said, “For cheering a team in a cricket match? If this is sedition, it is very unfortunate.”
Post briefing, Foreign Office officials and Pakistani journalists expressed their surprise at the move to charge the students with sedition.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashker-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is wanted by India in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks, appeared on TV channels here criticising India for the sedition charges against the Kashmiri students.
He praised the Pakistan Foreign Ministry for offering the students to come here and study.
“We would like to offer scholarships for these expelled students wherever in the world they want to study; Pakistani nation is proud of them,” Saeed tweeted.—PTI