PM Khan condemns ‘new cycle’ of killing of Kashmiris by Indian forces

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Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Monday strongly condemned the recent killing of Kashmiris at the hands of Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.

In a tweet, PM Khan decried the “new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris” and repeated his stance that the solution to the region’s dispute laid in dialogue.

“It is time India realised [that]it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” said the premier.

Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in response to PM Khan’s tweet, welcomed “Pakistan’s concern” but called for Pakistan to “do much more” in order to “put an end to the appalling grind of repression and human rights abuse that Kashmiris are suffering at the hands of Indian state”.

On Sunday, three armed Kashmiris were shot dead in an exchange of fire by Indian security forces, and six civilians, who were part of a demonstration against Indian rule, died in a subsequent explosion. While Indian forces claimed that the blast was caused by “leftover explosives”, residents said Indian forces had blasted the house where an unknown number of suspected Kashmiri fighters were trapped.

India has some 500,000 troops deployed in Kashmir. Popular unrest has been rising since 2016 when a charismatic young Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, was shot dead by Indian forces. More than 100 civilians died in subsequent weeks of protest.

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the decades of fighting in Kashmir.

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