Pak declares Burhan as ‘martyr’, to observe July 19 as black day Whole Pakistan stands by Kashmiris, Indian brutalities will give impetus to freedom struggle’

M Zulqernain

Lahore, July 15:
Continuing to needle India on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday declared slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a martyr and said July 19 will be observed as black day to protest atrocities against Kashmiris by Indian forces.

Addressing a special cabinet meeting here to discuss the situation in Kashmir, Sharif termed the movement of Kashmiris as a movement of freedom.

“The whole Pakistan is standing by Kashmiris. Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination,” the prime minister said.
“The Prime Minister described Burhan Wani as martyr of independence movement,” Radio Pakistan reported.
He said, the Indian brutalities will give impetus to the freedom struggle and Kashmiri people will get their right to self-determination for which the whole Pakistani nation is standing behind them.”
The prime minister directed all the relevant departments to highlight the Kashmir issue at international fora.
The cabinet decided that black day will be observed on Tuesday (July 19).

An official statement released after the meeting said, July 19 will be observed as a black day in the country so that the attention of the international conscience can be drawn towards the atrocities of Indian forces in Kashmir.
The cabinet asked the United Nations to renew its efforts to complete its “unfinished agenda” and ensure implementation of its resolutions “so that Kashmiris get their right of self determination.”

It said the Kashmiri leadership should be involved in the talks between Pakistan and India over Kashmir issue.
Sharif also announced to convene a joint session of the parliament to discuss the situation in Kashmir.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said the cabinet meeting was exclusively called to develop a consensus on extending full support to the Kashmiris.
Meanwhile, Pakistan briefed the ambassadors of African and Middle Eastern countries over the tense situation in Kashmir.

“Pakistan’s serious concern over the brutal killings of innocent civilians and violation of their fundamental human rights by the Indian forces was conveyed,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement.
Sharif had earlier deplored excessive force against civilians in the latest wave of violence in the Valley while expressing deep shock over the killing of Burhan.

The Prime Minister, who recently returned from London after an open-heart surgery, had said that it was deplorable that excessive and unlawful force was used against the civilians, who were protesting against the killing of Burhan.