Pakistan PM says world inaction on Kashmir like appeasing Hitler
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asked on Sunday if the international community was just standing by as Indian Hindu nationalism spread into Muslim-majority Kashmir, saying it was the same as appeasing Hitler.
His outrage on Twitter came as tensions simmered between the two countries over the divided Himalayan region after New Delhi last week rescinded years of autonomy enjoyed by the Indian-ruled part and gave full control to the central government.
Kashmir has been under virtual lockdown since shortly before the move, with a curfew across the region and phone and internet lines cut – ostensibly to prevent unrest.
Huge numbers of troops are patrolling the streets of major centres and security forces used tear gas Friday to break up a demonstration against the government's move by about 8,000 people.
Tensions also remain fraught in the mountainous Ladakh region, where a local activist told journalists dozens of protesters took part in rallies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with at least 10 people injured by security forces using tear gas and sticks.
India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price
India and Pakistan continue to clash over Kashmir, a volatile Himalayan region that has been experiencing an armed insurgency for nearly three decades. Many Kashmiris are now fed up with both Islamabad and New Delhi. By Shamil Shams
An unprecedented danger? On 27 February , Pakistan's military said that it had shot down two Indian fighter jets over disputed Kashmir. A Pakistani military spokesman said the jets were shot down after they'd entered Pakistani airspace. It is the first time in history that two nuclear-armed powers have conducted air strikes against each other
India drops bombs inside Pakistan: the Pakistani military has released this image to show that Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistani territory for the first time since the countries went to war in 1971. India said the air strike was in response to a recent suicide attack on Indian troops based in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan said there were no casualties and that its airforce repelled India's aircraft
No military solution: some Indian civil society members believe New Delhi cannot exonerate itself from responsibility by accusing Islamabad of creating unrest in the Kashmir valley. A number of rights organisations are demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government reduce the number of troops in Kashmir and let the people decide their fate
No end to the violence: on 14 February, at least 41 Indian paramilitary police were killed in a suicide bombing near the capital of India-administered Kashmir. The Pakistan-based Jihadi group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, claimed responsibility. The attack, the worst on Indian troops since the insurgency in Kashmir began in 1989, spiked tensions and triggered fears of an armed confrontation between the two nuclear-armed powers
A bitter conflict: since 1989, Muslim insurgents have been fighting Indian forces in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir – a region of 12 million people, about 70 percent of whom are Muslim. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part
India strikes down a militant rebellion: in October 2016, the Indian military launched an offensive against armed rebels in Kashmir, surrounding at least 20 villages in Shopian district. New Delhi accused Islamabad of backing the militants, who cross over the Pakistani-Indian "Line of Control" and launch attacks on India's paramilitary forces
Death of a Kashmiri separatist: the security situation in the Indian part of Kashmir deteriorated after the killing of Burhan Wani, a young separatist leader, in July 2016. Protests against Indian rule and clashes between separatists and soldiers have claimed hundreds of lives since then
The Uri attack: in September 2016, Islamist militants killed at least 17 Indian soldiers and wounded 30 in India-administered Kashmir. The Indian army said the rebels had infiltrated the Indian part of Kashmir from Pakistan, with initial investigations suggesting that the militants belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group, which has been active in Kashmir for over a decade
Rights violations: Indian authorities banned a number of social media websites in Kashmir after video clips showing troops committing grave human rights violations went viral on the Internet. One such video that showed a Kashmiri protester tied to an Indian army jeep – apparently as a human shield – generated outrage on social media
Demilitarisation of Kashmir: those in favour of an independent Kashmir want Pakistan and India to step aside and let the Kashmiri people decide their future. "It is time India and Pakistan announce the timetable for withdrawal of their forces from the portions they control and hold an internationally supervised referendum," said Toqeer Gilani, the president of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front in Pakistani Kashmir
Secession not an option: most Kashmir observers don't see a referendum happening in the near future. They say that while the Indian strategy to deal strictly with militants and separatists in Kashmir has partly worked out, sooner or later New Delhi will have to find a political solution to the crisis. Secession, they say, does not stand a chance
State police chief Dilbagh Singh said late on Saturday that "not a single incident of violence was reported from anywhere" in Kashmir, although this conflicted with independent sources.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947. They have fought two wars over the former kingdom, while an insurgency against New Delhi's rule in Indian-administered Kashmir has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the past three decades.
Khan tweeted Sunday that the "ideology of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop" in Kashmir.
Describing the move as "the Hindu Supremacists version of Hitler's Lebensraum", he said it would lead to "the suppression of Muslims in India & eventually lead to targeting of Pakistan".
He referred specifically to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ultra Hindu nationalist volunteer movement considered the parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Khan also telephoned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday "as part of his outreach to world leaders on the Kashmir situation", a statement issued by his office said.
"Muslims of Kashmir must be able to use their legal rights and interests to be able to live in peace," Rouhani was quoted as saying.
Officials said Khan would visit the Pakistan controlled part of Kashmir this week to show solidarity.
Residents in Indian-controlled Kashmir, meanwhile, said they were struggling to celebrate the major Muslim festival of Eid ul-Adha because of the security crackdown.
The festival of Eid-ul-Adha - a time of prayer and celebration
Around the world some 1.5 billion Muslims are currently celebrating Islam's principal annual festival: Eid-ul-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice. The festival lasts for four days, during which time Muslims traditionally greet each other with the words "Eid Mubarak" or "Blessed holidays!"
United in prayer: the Festival of Sacrifice marks the highpoint of the Muslim hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca. All Muslims are expected to make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime, but not everyone can afford to. That′s why celebrations are held around the globe, such as here in Nairobi, and prayers are said everywhere
Animal sacrifices: every year, as here in India, millions of sheep, lambs, cattle and - in some regions - camels are slaughtered. This is in memory of the prophet Abraham (Ibrahim), who was prepared to sacrifice his son to God (Allah). But Allah was merciful – so the story goes – and Abraham was allowed to sacrifice a sheep instead
Holy ritual: the slaughter of cloven-hoofed animals is another aspect of the festival for which people gather together. In Egypt’s capital, Cairo, Muslims take part in the holy ritual. At the end the meat is distributed among the believers: a third is for the family, a third for friends and a third is given to the poor
A family affair: many Muslims are keen to get home for the beginning of the Festival of Sacrifice, known in Arabic as ″Eid-ul-Adha″. It′s traditionally a time for friends and family to get together. Thousands of people here are trying to catch the last train from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. Some 90 percent of the population are Muslim
Filigree patterns: since the Festival of Sacrifice (Eid-ul-Adha) is a special occasion, many Muslims dress up. In Bangladesh, Pakistan and many other countries, the women apply henna tattoos to their hands. Believers put on their best clothes and most valuable jewellery to attend the prayers and celebrations
Roses for the dead: even those who have already passed on are remembered during Eid-ul-Adha. These Muslims in Hyderabad, India are packing roses into little bags. Later the roses will be placed on the graves of the dead as a sign of respect
Shrouded in smoke: this year believers in Indonesia have had to wear face masks in some areas. Smoke from illegal slash and burn operations in the rainforest on Sumatra have led to smog in many places. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world
Under police protection: terrorist attacks have become the order of the day during Eid ul-Adha in recent years. Security is therefore high in many countries. Such as here in Karachi, Pakistan′s largest city, which has an estimated population of 15 million
Celebrating under fire...: Muslims in Syria are also celebrating Eid-ul-Adha. In the Syrian town of Idlib, some 60 kilometres southwest of Aleppo, these children are enjoying the holiday – despite the civil war and daily bombing raids run by the Syrian air force
...and in safety: this young refugee has been given a balloon to celebrate the festival. In many refugee shelters in Germany and Austria, Muslims have come together to cook, pray and celebrate Eid-ul-Adha – no longer in fear of their lives
A mother who gave her named as Razia said she tried to explain to her daughter that she would not be able to buy her clothes to mark the occasion, as her husband fretted about feeding the family.
"What sort of Eid is this?" asked the 45-year-old in Srinagar. "We are not even allowed to move outside. My husband is a daily wage labourer but hasn't made any money for the last eight days."
A sheep trader at a Srinagar market, who gave his name as Maqbool, said the number of people buying sacrificial animals for the holiday was sharply lower and he had gone from "huge profits" to a "big loss" this year.
Indian premier Modi insisted last week the decision to strip Kashmir of its autonomy was necessary for its economic development and also to stop "terrorism". He said with Kashmir now fully part of the Indian union, the region would enjoy more jobs and less corruption and red tape, adding that key infrastructure projects would be expedited.
Previously, under its constitutional autonomy, Kashmiris enjoyed special privileges such as the sole right to own land or take government jobs and university scholarships.
Islamabad has been infuriated by New Delhi's moves and has expelled the Indian ambassador, halted what little bilateral trade exists and suspended cross-border transport services. (AFP)