Pakistan to Observe July 19 As Black Day

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said Pakistan will observe July 19 as a “black day” to protest against what he described as “Indian barbarism” in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been roiled by protests over the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.

Sharif proposed the observance of the “black day” while chairing a special meeting of his cabinet in Lahore to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. His proposal was accepted by the cabinet, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Over 37 people have died in the protests following Wani’s killing last week.

During the cabinet meeting, Sharif trotted out Pakistan’s stated position of extending “moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination”. He described the “movement of Kashmiris as a movement of freedom”.

He alleged that “Indian brutalities will give impetus to the freedom struggle” and said the Indian soldiers deployed in Jammu and Kashmir “could not suppress the struggle of Kashmiris”.

Sharif said the “Kashmiri people will get their right to self-determination for which the whole Pakistani nation is standing behind them”. He directed relevant departments to highlight alleged “atrocities” in Jammu and Kashmir at international forums.

The cabinet also offered prayers for what it described as the “martyrs of Kashmir”.

Sharif had expressed a desire for better ties with India soon after coming to power in 2013. However, Pakistan’s foreign and security policies are largely decided by the powerful military. 

India hits back

Srinagar: Hours after the Pakistani media reported that the country’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared July 19 will be observed as a “Black Day in solidarity with Kashmiris”, India reacted saying it”completely and unequivocally” rejects the decision taken by the Pakistan cabinet.

Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement “we are dismayed by the continued attempts by Pakistan to interfere in our internal matters.”

“Continued glorification of terrorists belonging to proscribed terrorist organisations makes it amply clear where Pakistan’s sympathies continue to lie,” the statement added

 

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