Iran’s grand ayatollah demands immediate halt to Indian violence in Kashmir

August 17, 2019

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian religious scholar has condemned the inhumane treatment of Kashmiris by the Indian government, urging the central government to immediately stop its atrocities against the innocent Kashmiri people and observe their rights.

In a statement, Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani said, “The disastrous incidents that is happening in India’s Kashmir breaks the heart of every freedom-seeking person.”

“What sin have the innocent and oppressed people of Kashmir committed to deserve the harshest oppression and cruelty by India’s military forces?” Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani asked.

“Why have the international community, the so-called advocates of human rights, the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation have kept silent and do not condemn these atrocities against defenseless and innocent people?”

Tensions have been simmering between India and Pakistan since New Delhi stripped Indian-controlled Kashmir of its special autonomy earlier this month. Pakistan has called that move “illegal.”

Kashmir is generally considered disputed territory. It has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.

On Friday, Hojjatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi, the interim Friday prayer leader of Tehran, said the issue of Kashmir is one of the tragedies of the Muslim world.

“Their action is contrary to human conscience, fairness and even the domestic laws of that country,” the cleric said of the Indian government’s crackdown on protesters.

The UN Security Council met on Friday to discuss Kashmir for the first time in 54 years, an event the Pakistani government hailed as a major diplomatic breakthrough. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday welcoming the meeting, saying that “ensuring resolution of the dispute is the responsibility of this world body.”

MH/PA

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