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Pakistan denies allegations of Turkey sending Syria militants to Kashmir

December 7, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Indian policemen arrive at the spot of shootout on the outskirts of Srinagar on October 05, 2020 [Faisal Khan – Anadolu Agency]

Pakistan has denied Indian reports that it and Turkey are transferring Syrian militants to Kashmir, calling the claim “fake news” and “fabrications”.

Reports in Indian media emerged last week of militants and mercenaries from northern and north-west Syria being transferred by Pakistan and Turkey to the disputed region of Kashmir, echoing similar moves of their transferral to Libya this year and allegedly Azerbaijan in September.

The media outlets claimed that Turkey was collaborating with Pakistan in that endeavour, with Turkish officers apparently recruiting militants for that purpose from areas in northern Syria such as Azaz, Jarablus, Al-Bab, Afrin and Idlib.

The Pakistani Foreign Office rejected and condemned such claims, stating on Saturday: “Pakistan completely rejects concoctions based on ‘fake news’, in a section of the Indian media, alleging transfer of foreign fighters to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).”

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It added: “Such Indian ploys are doomed to fail again. By spreading such falsehoods, India can neither cast a shadow on the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for freedom from illegal and inhuman Indian occupation nor can it escape censure by the international community for the gross and systematic violations of human rights being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces.”

The Foreign Office also called on India to abide by international law and standards in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, saying: “Instead of wasting more time in peddling falsehoods and fake news, India would be well-advised to comply with its international legal and moral obligations and let the Kashmiris exercise their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in international law and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.”

Kashmir has for over seven decades been a point of conflict between India and Pakistan, with three wars having been fought over the region between the two states. While the territory of Azad Kashmir is administered within Pakistan as an autonomous region, the Indian side had possessed limited autonomy and a special status until August last year, when the Indian government revoked that status and annexed the area.

Since then, lockdowns and curfews have been enforced by the Indian military and the internet has been shut down over the area, with only limited and slow internet speed being available. Cases of arbitrary beatings, arrests and sexual violence have also been reportedly used in efforts to crush protests.

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