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Nation special report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is reportedly astonished, upset and worried over mysterious silence of the world  over Kashmiri crisis and expressing his and government’s stance, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday once again questioned the international community’s silence 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 occupied Kashmir entered its 12th day. Thursday (August 15) is also India’s Independence Day, which is being observed as Black Day across Pakistan to protest the brutalities and human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir.

LAHORE: Aug15- Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Khan Buzdar, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and others join hands during a protest rally in connection with Black Day to show solidarity with Kashmir People, earlier federal government had announced to observe 15 August Indian Independence Day as Black Day across the country.

“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,” wrote the premier on his Twitter account, the display picture of which was a plain black image.

“Will [the] world silently witness another Srebrenica-type massacre and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in IoK?” he asked. “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.”

The decision to mark India’s independence day as Black Day was taken at the National Security Commit­tee meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran, last week in the wake of the Indian move to revoke Art­icle 370 that gave occupied Kashmir an autonomous status and to split the held Valley into two territories.

Pakistan has strongly condemned India’s move to annex occupied Kashmir and the imposition of an unprecedented security lockdown in the area. A day earlier, the premier celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day in Azad Jammu and Kashmir to express solidarity with Kashmiris on the Indian-occupied side. In a speech in its legislative assembly, he had warned India against any attack on AJK to divert attention from its human rights violations in the Himalayan region.

“Since the Kashmiris are equally battle-hardened and they also do not fear death, Modi should not harbour any illusion,” he said. “You [India] can no more keep the valiant Kashmiris enslaved.”

The prime minister drew parallels between Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party and India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent organisation RSS. Raising concerns about India’s lockdown in occupied Kashmir, he said: “We are all fearful about what we will find out once the curfew is lifted in occupied Kashmir. What are they attempting to do?

The prime minister, during his address twice pledged to take up the responsibility of raising voice of the Kashmiris at every forum of the world: “I will be the ambassador of your cause across the globe.”

Imran Khan on Sunday said that the Indian government’s policy in occupied Kashmir was in line with the “ideology” of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) party — said to be a parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — that believed in “Hindu supremacy”.

In a series of tweets, the premier said: “The curfew, crackdown and impending genocide of Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir is unfolding exactly according to RSS ideology [that is] inspired by Nazi ideology”.

He termed the RSS as the “Hindu supremacists version of Hitler’s Lebensraum”.

Earlier this week, the Indian government stripped occupied Kashmir of its special status by repealing Article 370 of India’s constitution. Kashmiri leaders were put under house arrest and a strict curfew was imposed in the occupied territory, that has entered its seventh day today. Though authorities claim that the curfew has been relaxed for Eidul Azha, occupied Kashmir remains cut off as phone and internet connections have been suspended and residents do not have access to television or radio.