Prime Minister Imran Khan, has ruled out seeking further negotiation with India over Kashmir, expressing his frustration with New Delhi. He said: “There is no point talking. I have done talking. Regrettably, now when I look back, all the proposals that I was making for peace, I think they took it for placation. There is nothing more that we can do.”
Imran Khan has taken a strong stand since India revoked Article 370. This legislation had previously allowed the Indian side of Kashmir to accept its own authority to make its independent laws, in all matters, except for finance, defence, foreign affairs and communications.
Khan has accused the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of changing the demography of Kashmir through “ethnic cleansing”.
He also mentions that the most important factor is that eight million people’s lives are now at risk. We are all worried that ethnic cleansing and genocide is about to happen”. The Pakistan PM has tweeted that India denied Kashmiris the right to observe their religious practices. Also, urged the international community to “prevent an impending genocide of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir”.
The Modi led government imposed a compulsory crippling curfew in the region after revoking Kashmir’s special status. It sent thousands of additional troops to the doubtful part, shut down telecommunications, internet and arrested leading political leaders before making a move in New Delhi.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who is the Indian ambassador of the United States, rejected Khan’s criticism. He also stated that in regard to the communications between the two countries: “every time we (India) have taken the first step towards peace, it has turned out awful for us”.
He also mentioned that the situation was returning to normal and restrictions were being eased based on the ground situation. There are adequate food stocks. Some restrictions on communication are in the interests of safety and security for the citizens. However, Kashmiris remain cautious of the government’s claims.
After announcing the reopening of some 200 primary schools in selected regions, classrooms remained mostly empty as parents have refused to send their children to school amidst the increased tensions. Two people, including a fighter and a police officer, were killed in a gun battle in the Indian side of Kashmir in recent events. People in Srinagar also shared stories of Indian troops firing tear gas and throwing pepper spray cans inside houses.