Notwithstanding India’s sharp response, Pakistan called for an independent and transparent inquiry into the “extra-judicial” killings in Indian occupied Kashmir, calling the situation there a grave threat to peace and security.
It added that Lodhi briefed Mullet on the “atrocious brutality” by Indian security forces in Kashmir and also raised in her meeting the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, whom she described as “a popular Kashmiri youth leader.”
Lodhi’s comments followed after India hit back at Pakistan and accused Islamabad of not only pushing in terrorists but also fanning discontent within the Valley by providing support to terrorist outfits.
Terming Wani’s killing as an “assassination”, Lodhi said his killing had set off widespread protests and the Indian forces were resorting to “heavy handed tactics” including included firing on unarmed civilians. Meanwhile, according to sources, the status in Pakistan is that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after concluding a Cabinet meeting, has highlighted three things: first, July 19 will be observed a black day in solidarity with Kashmir militancy; second, they will continue to extend moral, political, and diplomatic support to militancy in Kashmir; third, he has asked all the instruments of Pakistani state to highlight the situation of Kashmir in all the international fora.
Defence Expert Raj Kadyan’s take on the matter is: “Pakistan supports not only political, moral, diplomatic, but also material and financial including human material like Jihadists. So, what he says now is nothing new, it makes no difference to us. We have to ensure that our people in Kashmir who for the last six days now have been upset over the death of terrorist leader calm down and accept the reality so that further talks can carry on,” This event has followed in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s elimination on July 8, which quickly escalated into unrest in Kashmir and kept the entire Valley under curfew for the past week. The said rebel was neutralised by the security forces along with two other militants in just four minutes. So far, at least 37 people have died in the protests following Wani’s killing last week.
In a befitting reply to Nawaz Sharif’s proclaimation of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani as a “martyr”, India took strong umbrage and asked Islamabad to desist from further interfering in its internal affairs and destabilising the situation in the region through support to terrorism and other subversive acts. India dismissed Pakistan’s criticism of its handling of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and accused the western neighbour of using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. The ultimate solution in this matter is for political dialogue to start.