Kashmir Day observed in Pakistan


Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the “worst violations of human rights” in Jammu and Kashmir, as his country observed Kashmir Day on Friday.

“75 days & Occupation government of Modi continues the siege in IOJK [Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir]. Modi is riding a tiger – he thought he could get his agenda of annexation by using 900k forces to silence Kashmiris. You don’t need 900k troops to fight terrorism; you need them to terrorise 8m Kashmiri people,” Khan said in a Twitter post.

Earlier in the day, Press Trust of India reported the government imposed fresh restrictions in “vulnerable” parts of Kashmir valley.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since the Indian government’s move on Aug. 5 to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Several rights groups including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.

India said that 93% of the restrictions have been eased in the conflict-ridden region, a claim that Anadolu Agency could not independently verify.

“As the world watches the worst violation of human rights in IOJK, Modi is now fearful because he knows the moment the siege is lifted there will be a bloodbath – which would be the only way to subdue the Kashmiri people,” Khan said in another tweet.

According to state-run Radio Pakistan, Pakistan on Friday blared sirens across the country at 3.00 p.m. local time (1000GMT). People stood up with the ringing of sirens and then five-minute silence was observed. The activity ended with the playing of national anthem.

Indian government has disallowed congregational Friday prayers at main Jamia Masjid (grand mosque) in Srinagar for over the past two months, according to PTI.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International India on Friday said it has documented a “clear pattern of authorities using arbitrary detention on activists, politicians and anyone likely to hold a dissenting opinion, including women and children before and after 5 August 2019 in Jammu & Kashmir”.

“The cases documented by Amnesty International India clearly show the government’s witch-hunt to curb dissenting voices in Kashmir, including those of duly elected leaders which is against the representative and participative thread of India,” said Aakar Patel, executive director of Amnesty International India, in a statement.
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