Under attack for remaining “silent” over violence in Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has deplored “excessive” force against civilians in the latest wave of violence in the Valley while expressing “deep shock” over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Sharif, who recently returned from London after an open-heart surgery, came out with a late night statement condemning the action of Indian security forces in Kashmir.
“The Prime Minister of Pakistan has expressed his deep shock at the killing of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and many other civilians by the Indian military and paramilitary forces,” Sharif’s office said in the statement.
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The Prime Minister said it was “deplorable that excessive and unlawful force was used against the civilians” who were protesting against the killing of Wani.
“Oppressive measures such as these cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand of exercising their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” he said.
Expressing concern over the detention of Kashmiri separatist leaders, Sharif said India should fulfill its human rights obligations as well as its commitments under the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The death toll in the clashes between protesters and security forces in Kashmir mounted to 23, as normal life remained paralysed for the third day today in the Valley due to curfew-like restrictions and separatists-sponsored strike in the wake of the killing of Wani in an encounter on July 8.
Most of the separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, are either in custody or under house arrest.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has alleged that “Sharif-Modi friendship” was causing “irreparable damage” to the Kashmir issue.
“While Muslims celebrated Eid-ul Fitr across the world, our Kashmiri brethren marked the day of festivities amid violence carried out by the Indian army,” Bilawal said in a statement on July 10.
He accused Sharif of damaging the foreign policy by giving his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi a “certificate of friendship”.
“Sharif is jeopardising the Kashmir issue by building his association with the Indian prime minister,” he said.