Major General Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesperson of Pakistan’s armed forces, shared a video of some people in Kashmir celebrating the victory of his country’s cricket team in the final of ICC Champions Trophy.
“And this is… Srinagar,” Ghafoor said. His tweet came shortly after another that he said showed some people in Baluchistan celebrating the event.
The ‘Kashmiri video’ shared by Ghafoor shows some youngsters setting off firecrackers in an urban locality (see bottom). Many are heard chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ (Long Live Pakistan!) as the crackers and rockets are set off.
The tweet garnered some negative attention, especially from some Indians, but was mostly welcomed with applause by the mostly Pakistani followers of the Major.
“Not only Srinagar but almost all districts of Kashmir are celebrating this victory. Pulwama, Islamabad, Kulgam etc. Itz like Chand raat here,” claimed user Muzzafar Jalal.
“Today, I feel proud of being a Pakistani, of being a Muslim,” said user Jamal Sarwar, reacting to the Pakistan spokesperson’s tweet.
Though fewer, there were some reactions from India too to the tweet.
One of them was from Shekhar Gupta, an old defence correspondent, ex-editor of Indian Express and the head of ‘The Print’ online news portal.
He said the video of the public celebration by a group of youngsters ran counter to the earlier tweets by the spokesperson alleging that Kashmiris did not have any freedom.
“Think genius. Who would now believe your propaganda of J-K being a state under “brutal Indian occupation.” Pics you post trash your own case,” he said.
India and Pakistan have both claimed Kashmir, and occupy parts of the erstwhile kingdom. While India bases its claim on an instrument of accession signed by Kashmir’s last independent ruler when the British left, Pakistan claims the territory as many of the districts in the state have Muslim majority.
Kashmiris themselves are divided into four camps: those who want to remain with India, those who want to join Pakistan, those who want to establish an independent republic based on moderate Kashmiri values and those who want to establish a territory that works according to strict Islamic law.