Pakistanis protest against India’s crackdown in Kashmir
Pakistanis have staged another protest in Islamabad against India’s crackdown in Kashmir.
According to Press TV, the disputed region has been under a curfew for more than two months following New Delhi’s decision to revoke the region’s special status. Pakistanis, angered by that move, continue to hold rallies in solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
A unique feature of Sunday’s protest in Islamabad was the display of a huge flag of Kashmir. The kilometers-long flag was spread out in a symbolic move to draw attention to the suffering of Kashmiris who have been living under a curfew for more than two months.
Amnesty International has documented a clear pattern of arbitrary detention of activists, politicians and even children by Indian authorities in Kashmir. The rights group also criticized Indian military and paramilitary forces for using excessive force and intimidation tactics against civilian population there.
With nearly 900,000 military and paramilitary troops, Indian-controlled Kashmir has been placed on lockdown. A communication blackout has also left a devastating impact on the lives of Kashmiris. Nonetheless, Kashmiri youths are defying the Indian curfew.
India has arrested an estimated 13,000 mostly Kashmiri youths amid reports of torturing and killing of detainees in the disputed region. Pakistan calls India’s revocation of Kashmir’s special status an "illegal annexation" of the Himalayan territory where it awaits a UN-promised plebiscite.
The move has escalated border tensions between the two neighbors. In one of the latest skirmishes, Islamabad says one Pakistani soldier and three civilians were killed by India. The Pakistan military says it killed nine Indian soldiers in retaliation.