The Foreign Office (FO) on Monday condemned Indian propaganda to malign the Kashmiris’ struggle for the right to self-determination by raising the “bogey of terrorism”.
“Pakistan also condemns extrajudicial killings in staged encounters and fake cordon and search operations, as well as arbitrary detentions and crimes against humanity by Indian occupation forces in the occupied valley,” FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said in a statement.
The statement comes amid a surge in violence in occupied Kashmir in recent weeks, including a spate of attacks on civilians and a widespread crackdown by security forces, has left 33 people dead in the heavily militarised region since early October.
“The deteriorating security and human rights situation in the occupied territory is a matter of grave concern for the international community,” the FO spokesperson said.
“Pakistan has also been alerting the international community about India’s track record of orchestrating false-flag operations to undermine the Kashmir freedom movement.
“Equally condemnable is the RSS-BJP combine’s ploy to demonise Kashmiri Muslims, by stirring up communal tensions,” he said.
The FO spokesperson called on India to halt its state-sponsored terrorism, refrain from propaganda against Kashmiris, lift its “suffocating military siege” and let the people of occupied Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination as promised in various United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Earlier today, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also condemned the “unabated spate of extra-judicial killings in occupied Kashmir”.
“Indian state-terrorism and [a] brutal military siege cannot break the will of the Kashmiri people fighting for the right to self-determination. Pakistan resolutely supports their just cause,” he said.
The fresh wave of killings by local fighters appears to be targeted towards non-Kashmiris, including migrant workers, and members of the minority Hindu and Sikh communities in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.
In response, Indian security forces have launched a wide crackdown, killing 13 people in the last two weeks in multiple operations across the valley.
Over the past week or so, the Indian military has also been battling insurgents in a forested area in the Jammu region, which abuts the Kashmir valley, and has lost nine soldiers — the most number of casualties in a single operation in recent years.
The assassinations have spread panic among some sections of the population, with scores of minority Hindus and migrant workers fleeing the Kashmir valley towards Jammu and other areas.
Additional input from Reuters