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Pakistan condemns ban on Eid prayers, sacrifice in occupied Kashmir


Pakistan has strongly condemned the reported ban on Eid-ul-Adha prayers and sacrifice of animals in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

“Imposition of restrictions on prayers and religious
festivities on one of the most important days of Islamic calendar represents
complete disrespect and deep-rooted prejudice by the Indian government for the
sentiments of the Muslims of IIOJK,” read a statement by the Foreign Office
amid reports that Muslims in the region could not offer Eid prayers due to the
continued military siege and restrictions by authorities at all the major
mosques.

Pakistan urged the international community, the United
Nations, and other human rights and humanitarian oprganisations to take notice
of the “brutal suppression of the religious rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri
people in violation of international laws and conventions.”

“India must realise that by such measures, it cannot break
the will of the Kashmiris and suppress their aspirations for freedom from
illegal Indian occupation.”

Pakistan reiterated its support of Kashmiri people and
called for the protection of its inhabitants’ “inalienable right to
self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council
resolutions.”

The Indian government ordered authorities to ban the
slaughter of all animals in the Muslim majority region for Eid al-Adha last
week.

Citing animal welfare laws, the government’s Animal Welfare
Board of India ordered police and authorities to “take all preventive
measures” to halt the “illegal killing of animals and to take
stringent action against offenders.”

Cows are considered sacred by many Hindus and their slaughter is banned in the region and many Indian states. The new order extended the ban to all animals for the first time.

The Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema, a coalition of Muslim
religious bodies in Kashmir, expressed “strong resentment” at the
government move.

The group said in a statement that the sacrifice of animals
“is an important tenet of religion on this day.”

The MMU urged the government to revoke the
“arbitrary” order that is “unacceptable to Muslims of the state
as they directly infringe upon their religious freedom and their personal
law.”

The government order also triggered some outrage on social
media.

One shopkeeper in the main city of Srinagar, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the order was a new sign of “anti-Muslim policies being forced on Kashmir.”

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