Pakistan ‘strongly condemns’ rising Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir

By Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Taking note of the killing of a Kashmiri girl by Indian security forces, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said Islamabad strongly condemned continued violence against innocent Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Speaking to media representatives during a routine press briefing in the capital, Zakaria said Indian security forces also killed at least seven young Kashmiris during “fake encounters”.

“We strongly condemn the brutalities of Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir which claimed the life of a minor Kashmiri girl Kaneeza and injured a minor boy,” the FO spokesperson said.

He said violence against powerless Kashmiris in the troubled valley goes unchecked as the international community turns a blind eye to grave human rights violations by Indian forces.

Highlighting recent incidents of violence Zakaria said, “On March 9th, four Kashmiris including a 15-year-old boy and ninth class student were killed by Indian troops in Pulwama district. The troops used live ammunition, tear gas and pellets against the locals and injured 100 Kashmiris.”

“A number of houses have been damaged using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by Indian troops and the use of pellet guns has left dozens of Kashmiris with eye injuries.”

He said at least 70 protesting Kashmiri youths were also arrested from Srinagar, Shopian, and Pulwama districts.

According to the FO spokesperson, Indian security forces also killed the imam of a local mosque in Bandipore when he was travelling in a vehicle. “Even last week, Kashmiris were barred from offering Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Srinagar.”

Indian security forces, he said, also arrested top leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, and Yasin Malik.

Zakaria said Pakistan recently raised the issue of human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir during an ongoing 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

The spokesperson also exchanged details of a two-day regional seminar in Islamabad regarding the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

Later, Zakaria said he was hopeful about a possible meeting between Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Afghan officials during the sidelines of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meet in London.

“The visit is seen as an opportunity for them to meet and discuss the situation in Afghanistan and other bilateral issues particularly related to border management and cross-border terrorism,” he explained.

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