war of words

India and Pakistan in diplomatic spat over Kashmir unrest

INDIA-KASHMIR-PAKISTAN-UNREST Police clash with Kashmiri protestors in Srinagar on Monday | AFP

A diplomatic spat erupted between India and Pakistan on Monday over the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani with New Delhi dismissing Islamabad's strong attack, saying it reflected its "continued attachment" to terrorism.

India also asked Pakistan to refrain from interfering in its internal affairs, in comments that came after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a statement expressing "shock" at Wani's killing. Pakistan Foreign Office had issued a statement condemning continued "killing of innocent Kashmiris".

Pakistan also summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and conveyed Pakistan's "serious concerns over the recent killings of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and many other civilians in Kashmir by the Indian military and paramilitary forces." An official statement in Islamabad said Bambawale was called in by the Foreign Secretary in Islamabad.

"We have seen statements from Pakistan on the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. They reflect Pakistan's continued attachment to terrorism and its usage as an instrument of State policy.”

"Pakistan is advised to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi.

Sharif's office in a statement earlier said, "The prime minister of Pakistan has expressed his deep shock at the killing of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and many other civilians by the Indian military and paramilitary forces."

Sharif said it was "deplorable that excessive and unlawful force was used against the civilians" who were protesting against the killing of Wani on Friday.

"Oppressive measures such as these cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand of exercising their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions," he added.

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary while summoning the Indian High Commissioner said the use of "excessive force" against innocent civilians protesting peacefully over extrajudicial killings, is deplorable and a blatant violation of the Right to Life, Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Right to Peaceful Protest, Right to Peaceful Assembly and other fundamental rights.

The Foreign Secretary also deplored the firing by Indian security forces on peaceful protesters, an official statement said in Islamabad.

Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed also waded into the diplomatic spat, and welcomed the statements of Pakistan's foreign ministry and the Prime Minister and said the Pakistan government should raise the issue at the international level at a juncture when the "movement" for right to self- determination has gained momentum.

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