Pakistan’s postal department has released as many as 20 postal stamps in honour of terrorists who were gunned down by Indian security forces in Kashmir. The tickets were issued by the Pakistan Post headquarters in Karachi on July 24 to express Islamabad’s solidarity with the people of Kashmir who are “fighting for their rights” against the Indian security forces.
According to a Times Of India report, the tickets that have been issued in honour of terrorists including Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani, Farooq Ahmed Dart who was made a human shield by Army and a mass grave found in Kashmir among others. Many of the tickets carry very disturbing images.
It said that all are the victims of atrocities of Indian security forces. It went on to describe Wani as a ‘Freedom Icon’ who sacrificed his life while fighting against the Indian security forces. At the bottom of all the postal tickets, it reads ‘Atrocities in India Occupied Kashmir’.
Reacting to the release of postal stamps, Kavinder Gupta, former Deputy CM of Jammu and Kashmir, said that this proves Pakistan’s role in disturbing peace in Kashmir. “Pakistan is adopting double standards. On one hand, they are advocating for talks and on the other, they are releasing stamps in honour of terrorists. Pakistan can never be trusted. Pakistan has already been isolated at international platforms and a few prominent countries have already severed their ties with Pakistan,” he said.
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat strongly condemned the release of postal stamps in honour of Burhan Wani. He said that the matter will be raised at the right platform.
“Our policy is very clear on Pakistan until they decide to crack down on terrorism, there won’t be any change in our policy. At different levels, the government has clearly stated the same,” he said.
J&K BJP chief Ravinder Rain said that India has always favoured a friendly relationship with its neighbours, be it China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or anyone else.
“But when it comes to Pakistan, it believes in the policy of creating a rift. You can’t trust them… Army, government, ISI. In Pakistan, an elected government is powerless, no one listens to them. Who is listening to Imran Khan? If Imran Khan says Pakistan will not allow terror camps to operate on its soil, Army will not violate ceasefire, he will immediately be arrested by the Army and put behind the bars.”
Though the postal stamps were released in July, it was reported in the media in the recent past. It comes close on the heels of a letter from Pakistan Premier Imran Khan to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi urging him to initiate dialogue.
The Composite Dialogue Process between India and Pakistan began in 1997, but was suspended in 2008 after the deadly Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11. Seven years later, in December 2015, India and Pakistan agree to resume the talks and it was called a 10-Point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. But the talks were again suspended in January 2016 after the terror attack on the frontier IAF station in Pathankot.
India on its part has been saying that terrorism and talks can’t go together. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministers of both the sides are slated to meet on the sidelines of the UNGA meeting in New York later this week. However, the MEA has said that the meet should not be seen through the prism of initiation of talks between India and Pakistan.