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Hurriyat leaders barred from attending Pakistan Day function, says FO

Pakistan on Wednesday expressed concern over the arrest and detention of Hurriyat leaders in India-held Kashmir, said a statement released from Foreign Office (FO).

The statement added that Hurriyat leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani , Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Asiya Andrabi were arrested or detained in order to prevent them from attending the Pakistan Day function.

The function is scheduled to be held at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on March 23.
Escalation along the LoC

Tensions between Pakistan and India have been running high, with an escalation in ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and Working Boundary.

Cross-border firing appears to have become a new normal following an Indian claim of a ‘surgical strike’, unrest in Kashmir and the Uri army base attack in September 2016.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed. Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’ and accused Pakistan of involvement.

The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.

Following the attack, India claimed it had conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.

Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.

Pakistan and India have, most recently, locked horns over Kashmir since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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