Exploiting the violence that has led to 23 deaths in the wake of killing of the poster boy of militancy on Friday, Sharif, who returned from London after an open heart surgery, expressed "deep shock" over the killing of Wani and civilians by the forces.

Deploring the "excessive" force, Sharif said, "Oppressive measures such as these cannot deter the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand of exercising their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions."

Joining forces against India, Saeed welcomed the statements of Pakistan's foreign ministry and the Prime Minister and said the Pakistan government should raise the issue at the international level at a juncture when the "movement"has gained momentum.

Saeed, who plans to hold funeral prayers in absentia for Wani and others on Friday in Lahore, said issues in Kashmir should be resolved as per the wish of Kashmiri people.

"I urge Pakistan government to avail this opportunity and announce its open support for those who seek freedom," Saeed, the Jamaat-ud Dawah chief, said in a recorded message.

In another statement, Saeed said killing of the Kashmiris and firing at their funeral is the "worst form of terrorism". "Kashmiris cannot be made slaves through use of force any more. We will continue to support the Kashmiris," he said.

Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba who carries a bounty of USD 10 million, lamented that the international community was not condemning the killings in Kashmir.

To a question whether Kashmiri leader Syed Salahuddin would also join Saeed in the funeral prayers, a JuD leader said, "It is not confirmed as yet".

Expressing concern over the detention of Kashmiri separatist leaders, Sharif said India should fulfil its human rights obligations as well as its commitments under the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has alleged that "Sharif-Modi friendship" was causing "irreparable damage" to the Kashmir issue.

"While Muslims celebrated Eid-ul Fitr across the world, our Kashmiri brethren marked the day of festivities amid violence carried out by the Indian army," Bilawal said in a statement yesterday.

He accused Sharif of damaging the foreign policy by giving his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi a "certificate of friendship". "Sharif is jeopardising the Kashmir issue by building his association with the Indian prime minister," he said.

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