Srinagar: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday condemned the killings of “innocent Kashmiris” and said that India must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
Khan was referring to the killings of seven civilians and three militants by armed forces in Kulgam on Sunday. A powerful explosion after a gunfight in Laroo village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district in which three militants were killed led to the death of the civilians.
The Pakistan premier tweeted: “Strongly condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris in IOK by Indian security forces. It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
Strongly condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris in IOK by Indian security forces. It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 22, 2018
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown is being observed in Kashmir in the aftermath of the Kulgam carnage.
Here in Srinagar, all shops, educational institutions, banks and fuel stations remained closed in response to the shutdown called by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), Kashmir Reader reported, citing witnesses. The strike also witnessed thin flow of traffic on the otherwise busy roads of this capital city.
In Srinagar’s Old City, restrictions were clamped to foil any protests against the Kulgam killings. In Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Maharaj Gunj, Gojwara, Khanyar, Safa Kadal and other areas of the Old City, armed forces were keeping a tight vigil to keep protesters at bay, witnesses said. At many places, forces have laid razor wire to restrict movement of people.
The news about the Kulgam killings spread like wild fire on Sunday and public movement in Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley virtually came to a grinding halt as passenger transport vehicles were rarely moving on very few roads in the Srinagar city.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the Joint Resistance Leadership said that Kashmir has been turned into “a slaughterhouse where no one—young, old, children or women—is safe.”
The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said, “Kashmir has been turned into a slaughter house where no young, old, child or women is safe. Indian tyranny and oppression has crossed every limit now and Kashmiris cannot tolerate this silently anymore.”
“Kashmiris will observe a total strike against Kulgam carnage and other oppressive measures on Monday 22nd October 2018 while as on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 people along with JRL leadership will march to Lal chowk and hold a protest sit-in against Indian aggression. Also to highlight Indian aggression against unarmed civilians in Kashmir, JRL is preparing a memorandum to United Nations secretary general.”
Calling the Kulgam killings as ‘terrible news’, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday asked “how long can the ground realities be ignored and living in denial of bad situation in Kashmir.”
“Terrible news coming out from Kulgam.May the deceased find place in Jannat. Alienating the people in the fight against militancy is a sure fire recipe for losing the fight. How long can we go on ignoring the ground realities & living in denial about how bad things are in Kashmir?” Omar wrote on Twitter.
PDP President and former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed shock over the death of seven civilians and injuries to scores others at an encounter site in Kulgam today.
In a statement, the PDP President appealed the Governor, S P Malik to ensure that “all Standard Operating Procedures are strictly adhered to while dealing with the security situations and all the security agencies are advised to take precautions to avoid any collateral damage”.
Kashmir Economic Alliance chairperson (KEA) Muhammad Yaseen Khan on Sunday strongly condemned the innocent killings in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district which has left seven civilians dead and dozens seriously injured.
Blaming government forces for carrying a ‘planned massacre’ in state, KTMF president termed it sheer cowardice and an inhuman act.