Pakistan calls Hizbul terrorist ‘martyr’, to observe July 19 as black day

(From agencies)

In a move that could further irritate India, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan will observe a ‘black day’ on Tuesday, July 19, to highlight the recent eruption of violence in Kashmir which killed at least 34 people.

Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz described Burhan Wani,  a commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen who was killed in an encounter with security forces at Kokernag, Anantnag district, in South Kashmir, as martyr of the independence movement.

Indian tyranny will only strengthen the freedom movement in Kashmir, Nawaz told a special meeting of the federal cabinet at Governor House Lahore.

Wani, the poster boy of Hizbul, was allegedly instrumental in brainwashing many local boys to take up the gun.  A resident of Tral in the outskirts of Srinagar city, Burhan carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh ($14,925) on his head.

On Wednesday, India strongly hit back at Pakistan in the United Nations for raising the issue of Wani’s death.

India said Pakistan “extols” the “virtues” of terrorists and uses terrorism as a state policy toward the “misguided end” of coveting the territory of others.

India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was responding to the remarks made by Pakistan’s envoy Maleeha Lodhi on Kashmir and Wani’s killing during a debate on human rights in the 193-member UN General Assembly.

In her statement, Lodhi, besides raising the Kashmir issue, mentioned the “extra-judicial” killing of Wani, whom she described as a “Kashmiri leader”, by Indian forces.

Lodhi, who has regularly raised the issue of Kashmir at various U.N. fora, termed Wani’s killing as the “most chilling recent example” of “human rights violations” by Indian forces in Kashmir.

Alleging that the denial of self-determination to Kashmiri people had led to arbitrary detentions, summary executions and other “atrocious” violations, she said: “Its most chilling recent example is the extra-judicial killing last week of a Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, shot to death by Indian forces along with dozens of other innocent Kashmiris.”

In his statement, Akbaruddin said it is regrettable that Pakistan attempted to “misuse” the U.N. platform for defending actions by terrorists.

He described Pakistan as a country that masquerades its efforts as support for human rights and self- determination.

“The international community has long seen through such designs. Cynical attempts, like the one this morning, therefore find no resonance in this forum or elsewhere in the United Nations,” he noted.

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