RNA - The Muslim-majority Himalayan region has been in a crippling lockdown since New Delhi announced it was removing the region’s special status on August 5. Since then, India has flooded the region with military forces, drawing widespread criticism.
A recent government data showed that authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir detained about 4,000 people in the crackdown over the past weeks.
Speaking at a rally in Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani-administered Azad Kashmir, on Friday, Imran Khan condemned India’s clampdown in Kashmir, saying, “No brave man will subject women and children to atrocities.”
“You won’t be successful no matter how much cruelties you inflict. Because they have overcome the fear of death, you can’t defeat them,” he said, addressing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Khan warned India that its clampdown on Kashmiris and the detention of thousands of people there, will push people to “rise against India, and it is not just about Indian Muslims, there are 1.25 billion Muslims around the world. They all are watching this.”
He also slammed Modi for his “hatred for Muslims,” saying the right-wing, Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — which is regarded as the parent organization of the Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party — believes that “India is only for Hindus. Muslims, Christians and other minorities are not equal citizens.”
The premiere also urged the people in Azad Kashmir not to cross the Line of Control that separates it from the Indian-controlled part of the region, but to wait for him to raise their cause in the United Nations General Assembly next week.
“I will attend the UN General Assembly next week and God willing will not disappoint the Kashmiri people. I will take a stand there that no one has ever taken,” he said.
He also insisted that Pakistan does not want to go to war with India again , but said Islamabad will respond to any hostility.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that Kashmiri people were facing grave threats to their lives by Indian forces operating in the region.
“The people of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir are apprehending the worst,” he said. “I shudder to mention the word genocide here, but I must.”
Meanwhile, people took to the streets of the Indian-controlled Kashmir after Friday prayers to protest against India’s move on the region in defiance of the restrictions imposed.
Kashmir is generally considered disputed territory. It has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.