By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan on Saturday rejected allegations hurled in a section of the Indian media that “foreign” militants were transferred to the Indian-administered Kashmir.
In a sign of rising spat between the two nuclear rivals, Islamabad, in a statement, termed such “fake” news as part of the "Indian propaganda against indigenous freedom movement of the Kashmiri people for their inalienable right to self-determination — a right enshrined in international law and the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.”
“By spreading such falsehoods, India can neither cast a shadow on the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for freedom from illegal and inhuman Indian occupation nor can it escape censure by the international community for the gross and systematic violations of human rights being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in IIOJK [ Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir],” a statement by the Foreign Ministry read.
The “completely baseless” allegations of so-called “foreign fighters from Syria”, it added, serve “only to further illustrate the virulent anti-Pakistan tirade that is the hallmark of the RSS-BJP [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh-Bharatiya Janata Party] dispensation.”
“Instead of wasting more time in peddling falsehoods and fake news, India would be well-advised to comply with its international legal and moral obligations and let the Kashmiris exercise their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in international law and the relevant UNSC resolutions,” it went on to say.
Already strained relations between the two neighbors, which have been embroiled in a slew of land and sea disputes, mainly the Kashmir, have hit a new low in recent months, following New Delhi’s controversial decision to strip the Himalayan valley of its semi-autonomous right in August last year.
The unilateral decision , which invited a salvo of criticism, has further fueled tensions between the two armies facing off across the border, resulting in near-daily clashes.
- Disputed Region
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, New Delhi and Islamabad have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire took effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989.