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Pak declares Wani ‘martyr’

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LAHORE : ‘The whole of Pakistan is standing by Kashmiris. Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their struggle for the right to self-determination,’ Sharif said. File photo
Continuing to needle India on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday declared slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani a “martyr”.

He also said July 19 will be observed as a black day to protest “atrocities” against Kashmiris by the Indian security forces. Addressing a special cabinet meeting here to discuss the situation in Kashmir, Sharif termed the “movement of Kashmiris a movement of freedom”.

“The whole of Pakistan is standing by Kashmiris. Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their struggle for the right to self-determination,” Sharif said.

He directed all the relevant departments to highlight the Kashmir issue at international fora.

An official statement released after the meeting said, “July 19 will be observed as a black day in the country so that the attention of the international conscience can be drawn towards the atrocities of the Indian forces in Kashmir.”

The Pakistan cabinet asked the United Nations to renew its efforts to complete its “unfinished agenda” and ensure implementation of its resolutions “so that Kashmiris get their right of self-determination”.

Pakistan also briefed the ambassadors of African and Middle Eastern countries over the situation in Kashmir.

India hits back

DHNS adds from New Delhi: India on Friday slammed Pakistan for its decision to declare July 19 as a black day to protest the killing of people in Kashmir.

“India completely and unequivocally rejects in entirety the decisions adopted by the cabinet of Pakistan on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.
“We are dismayed at the continued attempts by Pakistan to interfere in our internal matters, where, we reiterate, Pakistan or any other external party has no locus standi,” said Swarup, adding: “Continued glorification of terrorists belonging to proscribed terrorist organisations makes it amply clear where Pakistan’s sympathies continue to lie.”

India has been protesting Pakistan’s attempt over the past few days to rake up and internationalise the Kashmir issue, seeking to take advantage of the unrest in the Valley in the aftermath of Wani’s killing.

PTI

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