PM Nawaz Sharif convenes special cabinet meeting on Friday to discuss situation in occupied valley, as Srinagar medics say Indian shelling has left several Kashmiri youths blind
Pakistan launched a diplomatic efforts on Tuesday to highlight the hapless situation of the people of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) and took the ambassadors of permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members into confidence to exert soft pressure on India, as anti-India protests in Jammu and Kashmir has left at least 32 people dead and over 1,000 seriously injured in the last four days.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has convened a special cabinet meeting on Friday at the Governor’s House in Lahore to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in the occupied valley.
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, in a briefing with the ambassadors of China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States, expressed Pakistan’s serious concern over the recent wave of violence against Kashmiri people and the continued violation of their fundamental human rights by the Indian security forces.
“Due to the excessive use of force against civilians protesting the killing of Burhan Wani, more than 30 innocent people have lost their lives and more than 350 have been injured so far,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria quoted the foreign secretary in a briefing with the envoys.
“India should conduct a fair and transparent inquiry against the individuals responsible for these killings,” he said.
The foreign secretary urged the international community — particularly UNSC’s permanent members — to take notice of the gravity of the situation in Indian-held Kashmir and called on India to respect the human rights of Kashmiris.
Rejecting India’s notion that deteriorating human rights situation in Indian-held Kashmir is an internal affair, he stressed on India to implement UNSC’s resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
“The killings of innocent Kashmiri people could not be condoned under the pretext of terrorism,” he added.
“The just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination cannot be equated with terrorism,” said the foreign secretary.
He added that “inhumane and oppressive measures cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand of exercising their right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions”.
Meanwhile, the cabinet meeting scheduled to be chaired by the PM in Lahore will discuss the oppressive actions of Indian security forces against innocent civilians and the overall situation in Kashmir after brutal assassination of Burhan Wani, said a statement issued by the PM’s Media Office on Tuesday.
Earlier, on the directions of the prime minister, the Foreign Office called Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to the Foreign Office and conveyed strong concerns of Pakistani government and people on rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir and increasing oppression by Indian security forces.
The protests in Kashmir follow the killing on Friday of Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old commander of Kashmir’s largest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), during a gun battle with Indian government forces.
Hizbul Mujahideen is one of several groups that have for decades been fighting around half a million Indian troops deployed in the region, calling for independence.
Around 1,000 people have been injured, including nearly 100 police, and hospitals say they are overwhelmed. Most victims suffered gunshot wounds or teargas inhalation.
According to the police, death toll from street violence had reached 32, after three young men died overnight. Scores of civilians and troops have been injured in the clashes.
Meanwhile, medics in Srinagar warned that many of the injured Kashmiri youth could lose their eyesight from shotgun injuries.
“Doctors are working in operating theatres round-the-clock. We’ve operated 90 for serious eye injuries since Saturday morning,” said a doctor in SMHS where many volunteers were helping to tend to the injured.
“Most of them have lost their eyesight in one eye. They are going to walk out of the hospital as one-eyed boys,” the doctor added.
An administrator said staff had been ordered not to speak to the press but wards were crammed with young boys and men, many of whom had suffered serious eye injuries caused by the firing of pellets by Indian troops.
One of the youngsters said he had been injured when paramilitary troops opened fire towards him and a group of his friends with pellet guns as they walked out of a mosque in Srinagar on Friday evening.
“I can’t see anything right now,” the boy said, declining to give his name as he wiped away tears that were dripping out of the sides of his bandaged eyes.