ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday condemned the framing of fabricated charges against Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Muhammad Yasin Malik by Indian authorities and handed over a demarche to the Indian charge d’affaires.

The Indian diplomat was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handed over the demarche conveying Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the framing of fabricated charges against Mr Malik, who is currently imprisoned in Tihar Jail, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The Indian diplomat was conveyed Pakistan’s grave concern that in a bid to suppress the voice of indigenous Kashmiri leaders, Delhi had started implicating them in fictitious and motivated cases.

The statement said that neither the malevolent Indian tactics of conjuring up false charges against Kashmiri leadership nor an environment of persecution, repression and intimidation could quash the resolute struggle of the people of India-held Kashmir.

The Indian side was also conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over Mr Malik’s incarceration in Tihar Jail since 2019 under inhuman conditions.

The brutal treatment meted out to Mr Malik despite his chronic ailments and denial of decent health care facilities had resulted in a steep decline of his health, the statement said.

The charge d’affaires was advised to persuade his government that rather than unlawfully keeping the Kashmiri leaders hostage and denying them their fundamental human rights, it must immediately halt its state-sponsored terrorism in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, release all political prisoners incarcerated on trumped-up charges, stop human rights violations, lift the military siege and let the people of IIOJK exercise their right to self-determination as enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions.

According to the FO, Pakistan asked the government of India to withdraw all baseless charges against Yasin Malik and release him immediately so that he was reunited with his family and returned to a normal life.

Pakistan urged the international community, including the United Nations and human rights and humanitarian organisations, to take immediate cognisance of the inhuman treatment meted out by India to one of the most prominent Kashmiri leaders, who has been leading a peaceful freedom struggle for the last many decades.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022

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