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PAKISTAN CONDEMNS KILLING OF KASHMIRI ACTIVIST BABAR QADRI

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Pakistan has strongly condemned and sought an independent investigation into the gruesome killing of prominent Kashmiri lawyer and activist Babar Qadri who was shot dead by unidentified attackers in Srinagar in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on Thursday.

“Another voice critical of Indian atrocities and human rights violations in IIOJK has been silenced through an extra-judicial murder,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement on Friday.

He said that the authorities in IIOJK have snapped draconian laws including Unauthorised Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Public Safety Act (PSA) and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), to silence any dissenting voice.

"More than 300 Kashmiris have been extra-judicially killed during the last one year in fake encounters and so-called 'cordon and search' operations. Babar Qadri is another Kashmiri victim of the Indian state terrorism," he added.

Zahid said that India must realise that brutalisation of Kashmiri people cannot weaken their resolve for freedom from illegal Indian occupation and their inalienable right to self-determination.

The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan calls upon the international community, particularly the United Nations and international human rights bodies to hold India accountable for these serious crimes against innocent Kashmiri people.

"The world community must take immediate action for investigation of unabated extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in IIOJK through an independent international body," he added.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), Babar Qadri had once loudly chanted "Pakistan Zindabad" and Hindustan Murdabad during a television debate.

He was a staunch critic of BJP policies regarding Occupied Kashmir and had attended many conferences and seminars stressing the need to resolve the Kashmir dispute as per the UN resolutions and Kashmiris’ aspirations.

In his social media campaign, he was vocal in denouncing the human rights violations by Indian troops in IIOJK. He had been pleading cases of Hurriyat leaders and freedom activists in courts.