ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday condemned what it termed the 'extra-judicial' killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani by government forces in India-held Kashmir (IHK) as the death toll from clashes between Indian troops and protesters in the region rose to 15.
Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen chief of operations, was killed in fighting on Friday after Indian troops, acting on a tip, cordoned a forested village in the southern Kashmir's Kokernag area, said Police Director-General K. Rajendra.
Two other members of Wani's group were also killed in the gun battle.
"The extra-judicial killing of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and scores of other innocent Kashmiris is deplorable and condemnable," Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.
The FO spokesman added that "such acts are a violation of the fundamental human rights of Kashmiris and can not deter the people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand for the realisation of the right to self determination".
In his early 20s, Wani, had become the iconic face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years. The son of a school headmaster, he regularly posted video messages online dressed in military fatigues and invited young men to join the movement against Indian rule.
Indian authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in most parts of Kashmir after Wani was killed, but massive protests continued despite attempts to suppress violence.
More than 100 civilians have so far been injured in clashes with Indian troops, who used live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas to try and control the angry crowds, police said.
Nafees Zakaria also expressed Pakistan's concerns over the detention of Kashmiri leadership in IHK and called upon the Indian government to fulfil its human rights obligations as well as its commitments under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
Pakistan reiterates that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute is only possible through the realisation of the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir, as per UNSC resolutions, through a fair and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices, the FO spokesman said.
PM condemns Wani's killing
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif too condemned the killing of Burhan Wani and other civilians at the hands of Indian forces in India-held Kashmir.
"It is deplorable that excessive and unlawful force was used against the civilians who were protesting against the killing of Burhan Wani. Oppressive measures cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand of exercising their right to self determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions," Nawaz Sharif said in a statement released from his office.
The PM also expressed serious concern over the continued detention of the Kashmiri leadership in India-held Kashmir and called upon the Indian government to fulfill its human rights obligations as well as its commitments under the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.