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Pro-Pakistan sentiment in IHK.

Indian government and Indian media went bananas when Pakistani flags were waved and slogans in favour of Islamabad and against New Delhi were chanted at a rally taken out in the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) on Wednesday. The rally was taken out as a show of solidarity with Pakistan and show of strength vis-a-vis resistance against Indian occupation. In fact, rally was organized to welcome Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Gilani on his return from New Delhi. Musarrat Alam, a Hurriyat leader, waved the flag of Pakistan, as he cheered for his leader Syed Ali Gilani. A number of participants including Musarrat Alam were rounded up for chanting slogans in Pakistans favour and waving its flag in the air. Speaking on the occasion, Syed Ali Gilani said Kashmir issue is an internationally recognized dispute and termed it a tripartite issue.

The Hurriyat leader also issued a call for protest across the valley for Friday. According to Indian media reports, the chief minister of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), Mufti Mohammad Sayeed termed the waving of Pakistani flag at a Hurriyat rally as unacceptable, saying "it was illegal and could not be tolerated." Musarrat Alam, a likely successor to Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had organised a rally in Srinagar, which was attended by thousands of Kashmiris. However, hours after the rally, the chief minister received a call from Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh who demanded immediate and strict action against the Hurriyat leaders demonstration. He also said that there could be no compromise on national security. A first information report had been filed against those involved in the incident, but there have been no arrests made as yet.

Wahid Rehman Parra, youth president and spokesperson of Mufti Sayeeds Peoples Democratic Party had a different opinion. He said: "Separatism and Pakistan constituency in Kashmir is a reality and we have to deal with it. We cant deny democratic space to these people. It is an ideological battle now. We have to make them mainstream by giving them democratic space." National Spokesperson Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the act was completely unacceptable. "We expect the state government of Jammu and Kashmir, headed by Mufti Sayeed, to take cognisance of the matter," he added. Musarrat Alam was released from prison after four years on March 7 this year. The move drew a negative response from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said: "I am angered and condemn the release, just like other lawmakers."

Last month, an FIR had been filed against Asiya Andrabi, who faced arrest after being named for unlawful activities in a police complaint, as she and her supporters celebrated Pakistan Day in the Kashmir Valley. Andrabi, head of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat, has been jailed several times in the past for, what Indian government says, anti-India activities. Still, she continues with her cause - Jammu and Kashmirs accession to Pakistan and secession from India. "We distribute sweets on August 14 (Pakistans Independence Day) and unfurl flags on Pakistan National Day", she said in a recent interview. Earlier, rejecting Indias assertions Mirwaiz Chairman Hurriyat Conference said: "Kashmiris are the basic party to the dispute. India and Pakistan cant sit together and talk about Kashmiris". Pakistans Foreign Office has many a time said that Kashmiris are important stakeholders to the Kashmir dispute, as they are the ones required to exercise their right to self-determination.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 18, 2015
Words:556
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