Police stop people from reaching Line of Control
The protesters joined the march on JLKF’s call even as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday warned them against “playing into India’s hands”.Updated: Oct 07, 2019 01:19 IST
Police in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Sunday blocked thousands of people from marching towards the Line of Control (LoC) in protest against India’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)’s special status and to split it into two Union Territories in August.
News agency Associated Press (AP) reported that police placed shipping containers on the road and deployed a large contingent 8km from the LoC near Jaskool to stop Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)’s supporters from crossing the LoC.
It quoted JKLF leader Abdul Hameed Butt saying that the protesters would stage a sit-in until the blockade is removed. Police officer Arshad Naqvi said that the protesters would not be allowed to continue because of the threat of “unprovoked enemy fire”.
Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that the protesters chanted slogans like “Kashmir banega khudmukhtar [Kashmir will become independent]” as they held photographers of JKLF leaders including Yasin Malik, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail on terror-funding charges.
The protesters joined the march on JLKF’s call even as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday warned them against “playing into India’s hands”.
In a tweet, Khan referred to the lockdown imposed in Kashmir to prevent protests against the change in J&K’s constitutional status and reorganisation in August. He said that he understood the anguish of PoK’s people seeing their fellow Kashmiris “under an inhumane curfew for over two months”. Khan added that any attempt to cross the LoC “to provide humanitarian aid or support “will give India an excuse to increase violent oppression of Kashmiris” and “attack across LoC”.
Several people began the march from different parts of PoK on Friday. They halted in PoK’s “capital”, Muzaffarabad, on Saturday.
Two PoK “ministers” met JKLF leaders on Friday and reiterated their appeal to the marchers against going close to the LoC or attempting to cross it, Pakistani media reported.