Iran Says Concerned about India Restrictions against Kashmir Citizens

Kashmiri men wait before Eid-al-Adha prayers in Srinagar. / Photo by Reuters

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has expressed concern over reports of tight security measures and religious restrictions against the people of Kashmir.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mousavi also called on Indian officials to take measures to return the people’s lives to normal as soon as possible, and let them enjoy all their natural and recognized rights.

Earlier, Pakistan also condemned the Indian government’s curtailment of religious freedom of Muslims in Indian-administered Kashmir.

In a statement on Monday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry accused that India has curtailed religious freedom of millions of Kashmiri Muslims on an important festival of Eid al-Adha.

Restrictions and curtailment of this fundamental religious freedom of millions of Kashmiri Muslims constitute a serious violation of applicable international human rights law, to which India is a party, Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said.

Indian troops imposed tight restrictions on mosques across Kashmir for the Eid al-Adha festival, fearing anti-government protests over the stripping of the Muslim-majority region’s autonomy, according to residents.

The Himalayan region’s biggest mosque, the Jama Masjid, was ordered to be closed and people were only allowed to pray in smaller local mosques so that no big crowds could gather, witnesses said.

Tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi, the two long-time 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 neighbouring Pakistan.

   
   

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