Kashmir unrest: Pak refuses to back off despite warning

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: Security Jawans guard in a street during curfew and strike in Srinagar on Friday.  PTI Photo

Srinagar: Security Jawans guard in a street during curfew and strike in Srinagar on Friday. PTI Photo

Even as Pakistan sought a UN-backed independent inquiry into killings in Kashmir, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif declared slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani as a “martyr”. Sharif also said July 19 will be observed as a black day to express solidarity with people of Kashmir.

“The Prime Minister termed Burhan Wani as martyr of independence movement,” Radio Pakistan reported.

Last Friday Wani along with two others was killed by security forces in the Valley. Since then, clashes have erupted in the Valley in which more than 34 people have died. The Valley continues to be tense and several areas continue to face prohibitory orders.

In Pakistan, on Friday morning, Sharif held a meeting with his cabinet to discuss the Kashmir situation. The meeting was called to assess the situation in Kashmir and it was officially termed as “movement of Kashmiris as a movement of freedom”.

“Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination,” Sharif said after the meeting.

“Indian brutalities will give impetus to the freedom struggle and Kashmiri people will get their right to self-determination for which the whole Pakistani nation is standing behind them,” Sharif added.

He also asked all the relevant departments to highlight the Kashmir issue at international fora.

Srinagar: CRPF Jawans stand guard near razor wires during curfew and strike in Srinagar on Friday.  PTI Photo

Srinagar: CRPF Jawans stand guard near razor wires during curfew and strike in Srinagar on Friday. PTI Photo

“Seven hundred thousand Indian soldiers deployed in Occupied Kashmir could not suppress the struggle of Kashmiris,” reported Radio Pakistan while quoting Sharif.

On Thursday, India gave a fitting reply to Pakistan for raising Wani’s killing with the United Nations.

In a strongly worded statement India accused Pakistan of using terrorism as a state policy.

“Regrettably, earlier today we have seen an attempt at misuse of this UN platform. The attempt came from Pakistan; a country that covets the territory of others; a country that uses terrorism as state policy towards that misguided end; a country that extols the virtues of terrorists and that provides sanctuary to UN-designated terrorists; and a country that masquerades its efforts as support for human rights and self determination,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador to the UN had said.

India had asked Pakistan to refrain from interfering in its internal affairs after Sharif issued a statement expressing “shock” at the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

Despite India’s warning, Pakistan demanded a UN-backed independent and transparent inquiry into the killings.

“At the United Nations, Pakistan called for an independent and transparent inquiry into the extra judicial killings in Indian occupied Kashmir, calling the situation there a grave threat to peace and security,” said a statement issued by the Pakistani Mission.

Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi met Under Secretary General Edmond Mullet, the Chef de Cabinet of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and pushed for the probe.

(With inputs from agencies)