Pakistan furious over Eid prayer restrictions in Occupied Kashmir

Pakistan has slammed the decision by India to enforce a lockdown on Eid in Kashmir, effectively disallowing prayers because of pandemic.

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Pakistan condemned restrictions imposed by India authorities Tuesday on traditional prayers of Eid-al-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice, in New Delhi-administered Kashmir.

“Imposition of restrictions on prayers on one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar represents complete disrespect by the Indian government for the sentiments of the Muslims of IoJ&K [Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir]. It is also a flagrant violation of their fundamental freedom of religion,” said a statement from foreign the ministry.

Pakistan: India using pandemic to subdue Muslims on Eid in Kashmir

Indian authorities, it added, were using COVID-19-related restrictions as a pretext to curb religious freedom of Muslims in the disputed valley.

“While the BJP government has been allowing religious activities in various other contexts and instances, disallowing Kashmiri Muslims to offer Eid-al-Adha prayers is a blatant discrimination,” it said.

Read more: Modi will inaugurate Ayodhya temple on Kashmir annexation anniversary

Islamabad urged the international community, the UN and human rights organizations to take notice of the “glaring denial” of the religious rights and freedoms of Kashmiris in violation of international laws and conventions.

“India must realize that by such repressive measures, it cannot break the will of the Kashmiris and suppress their legitimate aspirations for self-determination as enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” it added.

Background: India orders closure of mosques for Eid in Kashmir

Indian authorities have disallowed the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha congregational prayers in the name of COVID-19 precautionary measure.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole in Srinagar.

The statement said that “All the Masajids and shrines shall remain closed for Nimaz (on Eid)”.

As per statement, the meeting decided that no public transport except passenger auto/personnel vehicles shall be allowed to ply on the roads.

Meanwhile, Indian troops, in Indian held Kashmir, during overnight cordon and search operations and raids arrested at least eight youth in Budgam and Kupwara districts.

Read more: Ertugrul: TV series rallies Kashmiris in their quest for freedom

Five youth were arrested in Nasrullahpora area of Budgam district. The troops also damaged property and other valuables of the local people, Kashmir Media Service reported.

The troops arrested three youth at Sadhana Pass in Kupwara district .A police officer told media men that soldiers from Indian Army’s 7 Rashtriya Rifles took part in the operation.

Meanwhile, a man was injured after some explosive material went off in Rajouri district. The incident took place when the man was grazing his cattle near Line of Control in Bhawani area of Nowshera.

In another incident, an Indian Central Reserve Police Force trooper committed suicide by shooting himself dead at Rambagh area of Srinagar.

On the other hand, a woman was killed and three other persons were injured when a vehicle, which was on its way from Gali Pindi towards Mandi fell down in a deep gorge near Noor Pur Gali in Poonch district.

Kashmir: disputed region

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since it was partitioned in 1947, the India and Pakistan have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two over Kashmir.

Also, in the Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire took effect in 2003.

Read more: It’s about time we chant the slogan “Kashmiri lives matter!”

Already strained relations between the two nuclear rivals have further flared after India a scrapped decades-long special status of the disputed region last August.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources



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