Pakistan condemns ‘mindless killing spree’ by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir amid coronavirus


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday condemned India’s continued brutality against the people of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir even as they struggle to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Office, in a statement, said: “As the world is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic, India is busy further brutalising the Kashmiri people in IOJ&K.”

“The cold-blooded murder of Peer Mehrajuddin by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) in Budgam, today, is the latest in the mindless killing spree being carried out by the Indian occupation forces.”

The Foreign Office said the police resorted to indiscriminate firing on peaceful protesters while they took to the streets and expressed that these brutalities could not be “condemned enough”.

“No matter how brutal its tactics, India will not be able to break the will of the Kashmiri people. Nor will India ever succeed in suppressing the Kashmiris’ resolve to realise their inalienable right to self-determination,” the statement said.

“The world community must hold India to account for its crimes in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Justice for Kashmiris remains indispensable for peace in South Asia,” it added.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of angry demonstrators clashed with government forces in Kashmir after soldiers shot dead Mehrajuddin at a checkpoint, officials and locals said.

Mehrajuddin’s death came amid heightened tensions in the restive Muslim-majority Himalayan region after New Delhi scrapped its semi-autonomous status and imposed a curfew to quell unrest last August.

The young man was driving his car when paramilitary soldiers shot him near a checkpoint in the outskirts of Srinagar, the disputed region’s main city.

Police claimed he ignored signals to stop at two checkpoints “in suspicious conditions” before troops fired at the vehicle.

He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries, police added in a statement.

But Mehrajuddin’s father, Ghulam Nabi, refuted the police’s claims and said his son was shot and killed in cold blood.

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