Amidst raging debate over Kashmir unrest, a Pakistan’s Punjab assembly member has provoked India by suggesting that renowned author and activist Arundhati Roy be invited to Pakistan to brief Pakistani lawmakers over violence in the valley.
Sheikh Allauddin’s suggestion came after Punjab Assembly on Thursday again expressed solidarity with the Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom from India.
According to a report in Dawn, the Labour and Human Resource Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar appreciated Allauddin’s suggestion and said that the next step should be taken in the light of the Foreign Office advice.
Treasury benches member Ramesh Singh Arora drew the assembly’s attention to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement against Pakistan describing it ‘regrettable.’
Arora said that Pakistani Foreign Office must summon Indian Ambassador Gautam Bambawale to lodge a formal protest.
He said that New Delhi was not only committing ‘atrocities against the Kashmiris’ for demanding their right to franchise but also accusing Islamabad of fomenting violence in Kashmir.
Other members of the assembly also criticised India for the violence in the valley which started on July 9, a day after top militant Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with security forces, and supported Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Roy has been vocal about her criticism for violence against Kashmiris by Indian security forces.
The recent unrest in the valley has left more 60 civilians dead.
The Booker Prize winning author had last month said that Kashmir needed to be freed from India.
She had told Times of India, ” And if no one is listening then it is because they don’t want to hear. Because this is a referendum. People don’t need anyone to represent them; they are representing themselves. As somebody who has followed people’s movements and who has been in rallies and at the heart or the edge of things, I don’t think you can dispute what you see here.”