Article 370: Thousands of Pakistanis stopped from going to LoC protest

Updated: Oct 07, 2019, 11:31 IST | Agencies |

Pak PM warned them against crossing it as they will 'play into the hands of the Indian narrative'

Protesters march towards the border town of Chakothi. Pic/AFP
Protesters march towards the border town of Chakothi. Pic/AFP

Islamabad: Thousands of people from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were on Sunday stopped from marching towards the highly militarised Line of Control to protest India's move to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and to express solidarity with Kashmiris.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday warned the protesters not to cross the LoC, saying anyone crossing it to provide humanitarian aid or support for Kashmiris will "play into the hands of the Indian narrative."

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5. Islamabad has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter". New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.

The demonstrators, mostly youngsters, resumed their march from Garhi Dupatta where they had reached on Saturday from Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). They were moving on the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar Highway, but the authorities blocked the road by putting containers and barbed wires at Jiskool, which is almost 6-8 kilometres from the LoC.

Some of the protestors tried to remove the barbed wires but were stopped by police. Others tried to circumvent the blockage by climbing the steep mountains but could not do so as heavy contingent of police was deployed. The protest march has been organised by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

A local JKLF leader Rafiq Dar told the media that they would try to convince the authorities to let them go up to Chakothi - a village about 3 kilometres from the LoC. "I hope they will allow us carry on our peaceful march to the town of Chakothi. Our march is peaceful and we do not want any kind of confrontation," he said.

NC delegation meets Farooq

In the first major political development post withdrawal of special status to J&K, a 15-member National Conference delegation on Sunday met detained party leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah. It discussed developments in the state and upcoming local body polls during separate meetings with the two leaders. A PDP delegation will meet its president Mehbooba Mufti, who is also under detention, on Monday, a senior party leader said.

Sqn Ldr's name engraved

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has engraved the name of Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, who was killed in 1990 by separatist Yasin Malik-led JKLF, on the National War Memorial in Delhi.

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