The government has condemned Pakistan’s decision to observe July 19 as a black day to protest “Indian barbarism” following the violent protests in Kashmir over Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s killing.
Expressing “dismay” over the development, a statement from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Friday termed the Pakistan government’s move an “attempt to interfere in India’s internal matters” by an “external party with no locus standi”.
“India completely and unequivocally rejects in entirety the decisions adopted by the cabinet of Pakistan on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement read, adding that the neighbouring country’s “glorification of terrorists” paints a clear picture of where its sympathies continue to lie.
The strongly worded statement from the MEA alleged that Pakistan’s attempts to draw political mileage from the Kashmir protests followed instances of cross-border infiltration and “terrorism aimed at India”.
The MEA further asked Pakistan to “desist from interfering in India’s internal affairs and destabilising South Asia through support to terrorism and other subversive acts”.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif proposed the observance of the “black day” on Friday, while chairing a special meeting of his cabinet in Lahore to discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation. His proposal was reportedly accepted by the cabinet.
The premier and Pakistan’s foreign ministry had recently angered India by referring to Wani, a commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, as a “Kashmiri leader” and describing his death on July 8 as an “extrajudicial killing”. At least 37 people have died in the protests following Wani’s death.
Despite warnings from India, Sharif again described Wani as a “martyr of (the) independence movement” at the cabinet meeting.
During the event, Sharif trotted out Pakistan’s stated position of extending “moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination”, and described the “movement of Kashmiris as a movement of freedom”.