‘Winner takes Kashmir’

MNA Editorial Desk: Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir celebrated Pakistan’s victory over arch-rivals India in the Champions Trophy final with defiant pro-Pakistan chants and fireworks as shocked silence reverberated across Delhi following the historic upset.

One spectator at the Oval in London was spotted wearing a T-shirt saying: “Winner takes Kashmir”.

Joy was palpable in both old and uptown areas of Srinagar as youths came out of their homes to celebrate the victory of Pakistan.

Kashmiris, who traditionally support Pakistan in cricket, especially against India, took to the streets after the win waving Pakistani flags and chanting “Jive Jive Pakistan (long live Pakistan)” as fireworks exploded over Srinagar’s skies.

Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also took to Twitter and confirmed the reports of celebrations in the restive valley.

Indian Occupied Kashmir has been tense for months as violence between security forces and protesters fighting to end Indian rule have intensified since the killing of a popular separatist leader Burhan Wani last year.

The silence of India’s occupation of Kashmir blankets the valley, like the morning smog obscures the Himalayan Mountains. There is a new face to the hundred-year-old struggle for Kashmiri sovereignty and independence.

Human rights abuses in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state are an ongoing issue. The abuses range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech.

The Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Personnel (BSF) and various separatist militant groups have been accused and held accountable for committing severe human rights abuses against Kashmiri civilians.

Besides, over the past decade India has dominated the cricketing rivalry and was the firm favourite going into Sunday’s final, making victory all the sweeter for Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s unlikely victory comes at a time when the sport has been engulfed in crisis at home. The Pakistan Cricket Board is hemorrhaging money and several Pakistani cricketers have been accused of match fixing.

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