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Pakistan condemns ban on Eid prayers, sacrifice in occupied Kashmir

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

According to the Foreign office statement “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.”

Pakistan urged the international community, the United Nations, and other human rights and humanitarian organisations 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 the 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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