Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that use of military force by India will only accelerate the "freedom" struggle in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The whole world is waiting to see what happens to oppressed Kashmiris in IOK [ndian Occupied Kashmir] when curfew is lifted. Does the BJP government think by using greater military force against Kashmiris in IOK, it will stop the freedom movement? Chances are it will gain momentum,” Khan said in a series of tweets.
“What should be obvious is the international community will be witnessing the genocide of the Kashmiris in IOK. Question is: Will we watch another appeasement of fascism, this time in the garb of BJP government or will the international community have the moral courage to stop this from happening?" he added.
Tensions between the two longtime rivals have further escalated following India's move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir -- which allowed Kashmiri citizens to enact their own laws and prevented outsiders to settle and own land in the territory.
Kashmiri leaders and citizens fear this step is an attempt by the Indian government to change demography of the Muslim-majority state, where some groups have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
In related developments, Pakistan has also downgraded diplomatic relations with India, suspended trade and expelled the Indian high commissioners.
The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989./aa