Imran Khan prays for Kashmiri people before his address to the Legislative Assembly of AJK in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday. AFP
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan once again questioned the international community's silence on Indian-occupied Kashmir and warned that should ethnic cleansing of Muslims take place in the region, there would be severe repercussions in the Muslim world.
The premier's message came as the curfew and communications blackout imposed by New Delhi in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) entered its 12th day. Aug.15 is also India's Independence Day, which is being observed as a black day across Pakistan to protest the brutalities and human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir.
"In IoK, 12 days of curfew, presence of extra troops in an already heavily militarised occupied territory, sending in of RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] goons, complete communication blackout - with the example of Modi's earlier ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Gujarat," Khan tweeted.
His Twitter account carried a plain black image instead of his profile photograph.
"Will [the] world silently witness another Srebrenica-type massacre and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in IoK? I want to warn the international community if it allows this to happen, it will have severe repercussions and reactions in the Muslim world, setting off radicalisation and cycles of violence."
Protesters shout anti-Indian slogans near the Indian High Commission during a protest rally in Islamabad on Thursday. AFP
The decision to mark India’s independence day as black day was taken at the National Security Committee meeting, presided by the prime minister, last week in the wake of the Indian move to revoke Art¬icle 370 that gave occupied Kashmir an autonomous status and to split the held Valley into two territories.
The black day was observed by flying the national flag at half-mast and staging rallies across Pakistan.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold a session to discuss the occupied Kashmir dispute on Friday, state broadcaster Radio Pakistan reported.
Quoting diplomatic sources, Radio Pakistan on Thursday reported that the Kashmir dispute would be discussed under the agenda item 'Pakistan-India question'.
It said this is a big success for Kashmir and Pakistan. The debate is happening after many decades.
The same was confirmed in another report, which quoted UNSC president Joanna Wronecka as saying: "The UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16."
The UNSC president, in response to a question, was quoted as saying that the session will "most probably" be on Friday as the UNSC would not operate on Thursday
An activist holds a back flag during a protest rally in Islamabad on Thursday. AFP
Officials said the observance of Black Day is aimed at expressing indignation against the Indian imperialism in the state.
"Anti-India rallies followed by protest demonstrations in all small and major cities and towns at both sides of the LoC will be hallmark of the day,” a spokesman of the Azad Kashmir government said.
Participants of the protest rallies wore black bands around their arms as a sign of hatred against India.
In Azad Kashmir, anti-India rallies were staged and processions brought out in all small and major cities, including Muzaffarabad and all nine district headquarters of Mirpur, Kotli, Bagh, Bhimbher, Palandri, Rawalakot, Haveili, Jhelum Valley and Neelam valley by the people belonging to all walks of life to reiterate severe anger at the Indian imperialism.
In Mirpur, the major protest rally to observe the Indian Independence day as black day was taken out from District Courts premises under the auspices of the National Events Organising Committee Mirpur district.
His reaction came after the Indian government earlier in the day decided to revoke Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one.
'This is the first time in over 50 years that this issue has been deliberated upon by the Security Council'
Imran Khan directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to expose brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations.
As per a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office, the decision has been "taken in view of the regional security environment.” Bajwa's tenure was due to end in November but analysts have long predicted the extension.
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The rally in the city of Multan was held a day after police, on orders from the government, carried out the arrests and banned the gathering, defending the move as necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.