Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday reiterated his resolve to extend Pakistan’s moral, diplomatic and political support to the “indigenous freedom struggle” in Jammu and Kashmir. Sharif made the remarks to Sardar Yaqoob Khan, the outgoing President of the Pakistani side of Kashmir, Radio Pakistan reported. The Prime Minister said the world needed to take stock of the latest “brutalities against unarmed innocent Kashmiri people who are heavily sacrificing for attainment of their inalienable right to freedom”.
Sharif’s remarks came a day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, openly came out in support of “freedom” for Balochistan and the Kashmir governed by Pakistan. Islamabad termed Modi’s Red Fort speech a “diversionary tactic”. Foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz said: “The contrast between the Indian Kashmir and the Azad Jammu and Kashmir could not be more stark.” The Kashmir Valley is witnessing weeks of unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of rebel commander Burhan Wani.
Five civilian protesters were killed in firing by security forces on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 65. All educational institutions, shops, public transport and other businesses have remained shut since July 9, a day after Wani was killed. –IANS
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