Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said he will hold a “big jalsa” (public gathering) on September 13 (Friday) in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in support of Kashmiris. In a tweet, the cricketer-turned-politician added that the rally will send a message to the world about the “continuing siege” of Kashmir by the Indian security forces and to show the people of Kashmir that Pakistan “stands resolutely” with them.
The rally is a part of the Pakistan government’s campaign of holding an event every week to show solidarity with the Kashmiris. Last Friday, Khan had asked all Pakistanis to come out on roads for half an hour for the people of Kashmir. Muslims offer a congregational prayer every Friday, also know as Jummah prayers. “We will stand with them till the last breath,” the PM had said.
On Tuesday, India gave a strong rebuttal to Islamabad’s claims on Kashmir and hit out at Pakistan for “misusing” the UN Human Rights Council platform for “malicious political agendas”. Without naming Pakistan, India said this “fabricated narrative” comes from the “epicentre of global terrorism”, where “ringleaders were sheltered for years”.
Pakistan had on Tuesday asked the UN human rights body to ensure that India ends the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir and restores fundamental rights and liberties in the region after the revocation of its special status on August 5.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi asked the Council to constitute a commission of inquiry, and allow unhindered access to rights organisations and the international media to Kashmir. Incidentally, Qureshi later referred to J&K as the “Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Tensions have soared between the neighbouring countries after India scrapped the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir. Countering Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the matter, India has consistently maintained that the issue is “internal.”
The latest war of words comes two weeks before the Prime Ministers of both countries are likely to speak at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27.