DG ISPR condemns life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik

Pakistan strongly condemned life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik on fabricated charges, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The statement from the military s media wing came after an Indian court awarded life imprisonment to Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik.

The Indian court, officially convicted Yasin Malik on May 19 in cases registered against him over three decades ago and fixed the hearing for Wednesday to announce the quantum of the sentence.

The National Investigation Agency had demanded the maximum punishment, the death penalty, while the defence pleaded for life imprisonment.

“Two life sentences and five punishments of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment each have been awarded. All sentences are to run concurrently. A monetary penalty of over Rs 1 million has also been levied,” lawyer Umesh Sharma said. Different prison sentences and fines have been awarded for different cases.

The ISPR in its latest Tweet said, “Pakistan strongly condemns life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik on fabricated charges. Such oppressive tactics cannot dampen the spirit of people of Kashmir in their just struggle against illegal Indian occupation. We stand with them in quest for self-determination as per UNSCRs.’

On the other hand, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said that life imprisonment for valiant freedom fighter Yasin Malik will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

“Today is a black day for Indian democracy & its justice system. India can imprison Yasin Malik physically but it can never imprison idea of freedom he symbolizes,” the Prime Minister remarked in a tweet posted on his social media account.

Earlier, the Indian Charge d’ Affaires (Cd’A) was called to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handed over a demarche conveying Pakistan’s strong condemnation on the framing of fabricated charges against Malik, who is currently imprisoned at Tihar jail by the Indian authorities.

According to the FO spokesperson, the Indian diplomat was conveyed Pakistan’s grave concern that in a bid to suppress the voice of the indigenous Kashmiri leadership, the Indian government had resorted to implicating them in fictitious and motivated cases.

The Indian side was also conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over Malik’s incarceration in Tihar Jail since 2019 under inhuman conditions. The brutal treatment meted out to him despite his chronic ailments and denial of decent health care facilities had resulted in steep decline in his health, he said.

Pakistan also called upon the government of India for acquittal of Malik from all baseless charges and immediate release from prison so that he could be reunited with his family, recuperate his health and return to normal life.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari strongly condemned the “unjust” sentencing of Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik in a “sham” trial.

“India can never silence Kashmiris’ voice for freedom and self-determination. Pakistan stands with Kashmiri brothers and sisters (and) will continue to provide all possible support in their just struggle,” he wrote on Twitter.

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