Authorities in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) placed large parts of the region under lockdown early on Monday while India sent in tens of thousands of additional troops and traded accusations of clashes with Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC).
Communications were cut, with private mobile networks, internet services and telephone landlines cut.
Soon after the tensions escalated, hashtag #StandWithKashmir started trending on Twitter and many came out to voice their support for Kashmiris.
Celebs such as Mawra Hocane, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Feroze Khan and others raised their concerns over the ongoing situation.
“I appeal to all Pakistani artists, especially those with the most following on social media, ask yourselves with utmost sincerity that why do you not raise a voice for KASHMIR? Is it because you genuinely think it won’t make a difference?” said Hamza Ali Abbasi.
“Or you really believe that you are not factually aware enough to make your mind/give any comment on this matter? Or is it because you don’t want to get involved in this because it’ll effect your Indian fan following or future work prospects there? Please hear me out as I mean this in good will,” he added.
He called out fellow artists to raise their voice for Kashmir.
“If in your heart you realise that there is zulm (barbarity) on a mass scale in our very backyard and you should raise a voice (that’s the least we can do) but you still stay silent, then remember that this fan following will become your biggest trial and you will be answerable for this silence in front of your Lord,” conlcluded Abbasi.
Mahira Khan shared, “Have we conveniently blocked what we don’t want to address? This is beyond lines drawn on sand, it’s about innocent lives being lost! Heaven is burning and we silently weep.”
Shaan Shahid took a dig at Indian PM Modi.
“Bathing in Ganges will not wash away , the blood of the martyrs of Kashmir,” the Arth actor wrote.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army’s media wing, had said on Saturday that the Indian troops used cluster munitions along the Line of Control to target the civilian population in blatant violation of the Geneva Convention and international laws.
“The use of cluster bombs in Kashmir is in clear violation of the Geneva Convention. There is no justification for it whatsoever. These are simple war crimes – the world has to wake up and put a stop to these atrocities NOW!” wrote Mehwish Hayat.
Indian forces cannot stop the Kashmiris from their right of self-determination by resorting to such atrocities, Independence is the fundamental right of Kashmiri people and no one can deprive them of their basic right through the use of force,” Veena Malik penned down.
“We should all come together [against] the opposition,people from all walk of lives from the world who believe in humanity or are Muslims. None of us are ordinary.We can save lives.Every voice matters do whatever u can in whatever capacity,” added the actor.
Feroze Khan also tweeted about the ongoing tensions.
Hareem Farooq called out for support.
“Why is the world quite? How come this brutality in Kashmir is being ignored? Have we lost all humanity! It’s time to raise our voices! Its time to stand with Kashmir! Its time to end this brutality and injustice!” the Heer Maan Ja star shared.
The latest tensions started in the last 10 days after New Delhi deployed at least 10,000 troops. A further 70,000 had been deployed, which is believed to be an unprecedented level.
India has introduced other security measures over terror threat claims – including a call to stock up food and fuel.
The measures have sparked growing panic among residents, who formed long queues outside petrol stations, food stores and cash machines.
A heavy presence of troops was seen in parts of Srinagar as gunshots sounded, although the streets remained empty, said local residents.
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.