ISLAMABAD: Strongly condemning the killing of innocent people in India-held Kashmir and the arrest of Kashmiri leaders, Islamabad on Sunday called upon New Delhi to fulfil its human rights obligations as well as its commitments under the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Reacting to reports about the deaths of over a dozen protesters during clashes with armed police, the Foreign Office said in a statement: “Such acts are a violation of [the] fundamental human rights of Kashmiris and cannot deter the people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand for the realisation of the right to self-determination.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a statement, said he was shocked at the killing of Burhan Wani and other civilians.

“It is deplorable that excessive and unlawful force was used against civilians who were protesting against the killing of Burhan Wani. Oppressive measures such as these cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their struggle for the right to self determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” Mr Sharif said.

The statements came on a day that saw a surge in militant activity in Srinagar and other places in held Kashmir, leaving four protesters and a police officer dead. Twenty people have lost their lives so far since protests erupted on Friday after police shot dead Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old militant known for his call to arms on social media against Indian rule, in a gunbattle. Wani was a member of the Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the groups fighting India.

Following his death, Kashmiri leaders called for a strike and three days of mourning.

Two other members of Wani’s group were also killed in the gunbattle, which took place near a forested village in Kokernag, an area in the southern part of India-held territory.

In its statement, the FO termed Wani’s murder “extrajudicial killing”, saying that “the murder of Wani and scores of other innocent Kashmiris is deplorable”.

“Pakistan also has serious concerns over the detention of Kashmiri leadership in IOK and calls upon the Indian government to fulfil its human rights obligations, as well as its commitments under the UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.

“Pakistan reiterates that the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is only possible after the realisation of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir as per the United Nations Security Council resolutions, through a fair and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.”

SECURITY MEN WOUNDED: Rajendra Kumar, a senior police official, told reporters in Srinagar that 100 members of law enforcement agencies had been wounded and three were missing after clashes with militants, agencies add.

In addition, “miscreants threw a police vehicle into River Jhelum”, south of Srinagar, killing the officer inside, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2016