ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday strongly condemned the “new cycle of killings” of innocent people in India-held Kashmir by occupation forces and urged India to resolve the lingering dispute in accordance with the wishes of its people.
Mr Khan was reacting to news reports about a new spate of violence in the Kulgam area that led to the death of around nine people and injuries to over 50 during a clash with Indian troops.
In a message on Twitter, the PM said: “It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
Indian forces fanned out across much of held Kashmir on Monday as a general strike was called to mourn the death of civilians.
Personnel of Indian forces patrolled streets in Srinagar and enforced a security lockdown in the downtown neighbourhoods in anticipation of anti-India protests. Businesses, schools and shops remained shut and public transport stayed off the roads.
Protesting villagers in Kulgam had on Sunday made several attempts to reach the site where some Kashmiri fighters were trapped, barraging troops with stones. They were trying to distract the soldiers who apart from guns and grenades also used explosives to blast the house where the armed Kashmiris were cornered, residents and police said.
Some residents blamed Indian troops for excessive use of explosives in populated areas and deliberately leaving explosives at the site.
“It’s routine with Indian troops to blast homes with explosives for killing the holed up Kashmiri fighters,” said Farooq Ahmed, a resident in southern Kulgam area where Sunday’s incident had occurred. “High over their victory of killing Kashmiris, they leave the area without clearing it from unexploded explosives,” he added. “It’s so sinisterly planned, and it has happened so many times.”
Anger spiralled in the region after the deaths, sparking protests and clashes at many places.
Kashmiri leaders called for Monday’s strike to protest the deaths.
Meanwhile, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in a statement expressed concern over the ongoing reign of terror unleashed by Indian forces against innocent Kashmiris in held Kashmir.
“Indian occupation machinery has shamelessly used all kinds of oppressive policies to silence the voice and destroy the will of Kashmiri people through use of torture, arbitrary arrests and unlawful killing of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children,” the statement said.
Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018
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