Pakistan condemns use of force on Muharram procession in IIOJK

Pakistan has strongly condemned the use of tear gas shells and firing of warning shots on Muslims taking part in peaceful Muharram procession in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Dozens of Kashmiris have reportedly been detained and journalists have also been subjected to baton charge in the occupied territory, the Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Imposition of restrictions on Muharram processions represents complete disrespect and deep-rooted prejudice by the Indian government for the sentiments of the Muslims in IIOJK, it added.

The statement said the Indian actions are a flagrant violation of Kashmiris’ fundamental right of freedom of religion.

The FO added that the Indian government cannot break the will of Kashmiris in their just struggle for the right to self-determination through oppression, intimidation and systematic violation of fundamental rights.

Also read: Pakistanis, Kashmiris in UK, Europe slam Indian atrocities in IIOJ&K

Pakistan calls upon the international community, the United Nations, and other human rights and humanitarian organisations to take notice of brutal suppression of the religious rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people in violation of international law and conventions, read the communiqué.

Indian police detained dozens of people and thrashed several journalists at a Muharram rally in IIOJK, with videos and images shared on social media drawing condemnation from political leaders and rights groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In IIOJK’s Srinagar, the main procession – covering several miles from the central business area of Lal Chowk to the city’s old parts – has been banned since 1990, when the anti-India insurgency started in the disputed Himalayan region.

Several smaller processions, however, are still seen in some areas of the capital and rural districts.

(With additional input from Anadolu Agency)

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