ISLAMABAD/Srinagar - Pakistan yesterday asked India to stop the state terrorism in Held Kashmir after several civilians were killed in the fight against the occupant Indian forces.

Nine of the Kashimirs were martyred in southern Kulgam district on Sunday where thousands of youth marched to a village in support of some freedom fighters who were under attack from the Indian forces.

Mobile telephone and internet services were suspended in the area by the authorities as protests spread, including to Srinagar where police used tear gas to disperse angry crowds.

The large majority of the Kashmiris in the Indian occupied state support the freedom fighters who have been battling for decades for securing independence.

India has deployed more than 800,000 military and paramilitary troops in Kashmir to crush the struggle for self-determination – a human right promised to Kashmiris through several United Nations’ resolutions.

In a statement, Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur drew the attention of world community towards the Indian atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris.

Gandapur condemned killing of nine Kashmiri youth by Indian troops in fresh act of state terrorism in Laroo area of Kulgam.

He said the world conscience should raise its voice on this barbaric treatment to a people who are demanding their right. The minister said Pakistan will continue to expose the true face of India on all international forums.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had urged the United Nations to investigate use of chemical weapons by India in held Kashmiri to crush the freedom movement.

As per the details of Kulgam incident, three freedom fighters were martyred when the Indian troops blasted a house where the Kashmiri youth were holed-in.

Five demonstrators were killed in an explosion which came while they were removing the debris of the blasted house to recover the bodies of the freedom fighters.

The Indian troops used bullets, pellets and teargas shells against the protesting youth. Doctors at Kulgam and Islamabad district hospitals said that they had received 44 injured youth.

Some critically injured were shifted to hospitals in Srinagar. One of the injured later succumbed to his injuries at a Srinagar hospital.

Separately, two freedom fighters were martyred and three Indian soldiers killed in a clash in Rajouri district near the Line of Control, which divides Azad Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the clash between the occupant forces and freedom fighters came in Sunderbani area of the Jammu region.

Four Indian soldiers were also injured in two separate attacks in Kulgam and Pulwama the same day, Sunday.

The Kulgam incident followed a cordon and search operation by the occupation forces. The authorities also imposed curfew like restrictions in Kulgam district.

Telephone and internet services were also shut in parts of Srinagar and other areas as protests against the Indian atrocities spread across the valley.

Strike call

The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammed Yasin Malik called for complete shutdown today (October 22) against the killings in Kulgam.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that the killing of so many youth in a single day was sufficient to shake the conscience of the world community.

A statement from JRL said that a protest sit-in would be held at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. The Kashmir Economic Alliance in a statement supported the call for the strike.

The chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai in a statement said that the authorities had given a license to its forces to kill the Kashmiris with impunity.

Hurriyat leaders Zafar Akbar Butt and Bilal Sidduqi in their statements paid tributes to the Kulgam martyrs.



Unending violence

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the decades of fighting across Indian Kashmir. This year at least 186 freedom fighters, 80 civilians and 75 Indian forces personnel have died in the clashes across the Indian occupied territory.

Popular unrest has been rising since 2016 when a charismatic young freedom fighter Burhan Wani was shot dead by the Indian forces. More than 100 civilians died in subsequent weeks of protest.

To shift the world attention away from its brutalities, India accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants to attack its forces.

Pakistan says it only provides diplomatic support for Kashmir’s right to self-determination.

FO statement

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a statement Pakistan wanted a thorough and independent investigation into use of chemical weapons by Indian forces in Kashmir.

“We have seen the (Indian) ministry of external affairs’ reaction. Our comments were made after serious concerns were expressed by Kashmiri circles.

“It is a fact that Kashmir’s Human Rights Commission has asked the local administration to investigate the matter in view of the reports of use of chemicals in the ammunition and mutilation of bodies in Bandipora. India is committing heinous crimes in Kashmir,” the spokesperson said.

Faisal said reports of use of weapons with chemical agents by Indian security forces in Kashmir have appeared before as well.

“We had earlier also called for thorough and independent investigations into such reports. We reiterate our call. The UN Commission of Inquiry as envisaged in the OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) report may also look into it provided India is not shy of permitting their visit,” he added.

The spokesperson said there was a litany of unspeakable crimes being perpetrated by the Indian security forces in held Kashmir, as documented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in his latest report.

“We hope that India would act responsibly and not use chemicals in the ammunition against those who are engaged in a legitimate struggle for self-determination,” Faisal said.