SRINAGAR: Waving of Pakistani flags in Kashmir valley seems to be becoming an everyday routine for the separatist leaders. Not many days ago, in spite of strict warnings issued by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, separatist leader Shabir Shah on Friday waved Pakistan flag during a rally in Kashmir’s Anantnag. Taking the row to another level, Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has now tagged the neighbour as a ‘well-wisher’ and said that people will continue to wave Pakistani flags in the Kashmir valley.(Also Read: After being warned by Rajnath Singh, Pakistani flags again waved during a rally in Kashmir)
Speaking about the same, Geelani said, “Pakistani flags have been waved in Kashmir since 1947 and In Sha Allah (God willing) will be waved in future also as Pakistan is not only our neighbor, but also a well wisher.” The separatist leader further added that the Kashmiris did not wish bad for Indians either but certainly love Pakistan as the border country ‘is supporting the right of self determination to Kashmir’.
Ever since April 15, several episodes have been reported where many separatist rallies in Kashmir witnessed the appearance of the Pakistani flags. These events led to serious criticism towards the People’s Democratic Party government in the state not only by opposition parties, but also ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) extended its disagreement over the issue with the PDP.
The first such incident was reported in mid-April during a rally that was held by Hurriyat to welcome Geelani from Delhi. It was headed by separatist leader Masarat Alam and the state government had then reacted by arresting Alam and booking him under the Public Safety Act.(Also Read: Anti-India Rally in Srinagar: Nothing wrong in people waving Pakistan flags, says Masarat Alam)
This was then followed by six more such occasions across the valley with the most recent being when three Pakistani flags were waved for 30 minutes during the rally headed by separatist leader Shabir Shah on Friday. This led to the arrest of four people in connection of the matter.