NEW DELHI (TIP): India on July 21 (Thursday)accused Pakistan of providing state support to terrorists and asked the neighbouring country to vacate the territories it has been illegally occupying in Kashmir.

New Delhi issued a strong statement a day after Pakistan observed “Black Day” to protest the “brutalities” on Kashmiris by the armed forces.

The statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs took note of the rallies and other events held in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) over the last two days. Islamabad also observed “Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan Day” on Tuesday.

Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salauddin addressed the rallies held in Pakistan and PoK on Tuesday and Wednesday. Quite a few of those who addressed the rallies threatened marches and protests before the High Commission of India in Islamabad.

“We have also noted that the events were led by UN-designated terrorists, who had in the past protested the elimination of dreaded terrorists, including Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour, in Pakistan,” Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in New Delhi on Thursday.

“In view of the threats of marches and protests at the High Commission of India in Islamabad, we ask the Government of Pakistan to ensure full safety and security of the High Commission, all its officials and their families in Pakistan,” he said. “India strongly condemns the encouragement and support which such terrorists and their activities receive from Pakistan,” added Swarup.

Pakistan has of late been trying to raise its pitch on Kashmir in the wake of violent protests in the Valley against the killing of Hizbul Mujhahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces of India. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed “deep shock” over the killing of Wani and subsequent death of civilians in Kashmir due to police crackdown on protesters.

New Delhi on Thursday once again asked Pakistan to stop “inciting and supporting violence and terrorism” in any part of India and refrain from its “deplorable meddling” in internal affairs of India in any manner.

“The observance of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan Day (on Wednesday) exposes Pakistan’s longing for the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. India demands that Pakistan must fulfil the obligation to vacate its illegal occupation of PoK,” said Swarup. “It must also stop misleading the international community and Kashmiris through meaningless exercises such as the so-called elections today in PoK which Pakistan ironically calls
‘Azad’ (free).” He was referring to the elections being held for the 41 seats in the Legislative Assembly in PoK.