LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s suggestion of holding a referendum on Kashmir to decide whether the Kashmiris wanted to live with Pakistan or as an independent nation has been rejected by PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif. The Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly heavily criticized the prime minister, in a statement issued today, saying Imran Khan is shifting from Pakistan’s constitutional position by proposing a referendum. “The entire nation rejects anything other than Pakistan’s historic position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and UN Security Council resolutions,” Shehbaz said in a hard-hitting response to PM Khan’s statement given during AJK rallies. Imran Khan, while talking to a rally in Tarar Khal on Friday promised the Kashmiris that his government will hold a referendum in which they could choose to join Pakistan or become an independent state. “……I want to make clear now is that in 1948, there were two United Nations Security Council resolutions which granted the people of Kashmir the right to decide their future. According to the UN resolutions, the people have to decide whether they want to join Hindustan or Pakistan,” the premier had said. “I want to clarify to all of you today. InshaAllah, a day will come, when all the sacrifices made by the people of Kashmir will not be wasted. God will grant you that right. There will be a referendum, InshaAllah.” Shehbaz said that the prime minister’s statement is a red flag and raises concerns for the nation regarding decisions taken by India on August 5, 2019. “The Jammu and Kashmir dispute will be decided according to a transparent and independent plebiscite held under the auspices of the United Nations and this is the position of the people of Pakistan and Kashmir.” Shehbaz Sharif said that Imran’s forcible solution on the Kashmiris without their consent is tantamount to helping India and betraying the Kashmir cause.