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Burhan Wani, Pellet Gun 'Victims': Pakistan 'Commemorates' Kashmiri Terrorists With Special Stamps

File photo of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

File photo of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

Besides 'freedom icon' Burhan Wani, other captions that feature on Pakistan's 'commemorative' stamps include 'use of chemical weapons', 'use of pellet guns', 'mass graves' and 'braid chopping'.

New Delhi: Slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani has been declared a 'freedom icon' by Pakistan as they express their solidarity with Kashmiris in their 'fight against the Indian oppression'. To commemorate the 'victims of atrocities by Indian troops in Kashmir', the neighbour country has issued 20 such special postage stamps.

A Times of India report quoted a senior official of Pakistan Post as saying that stamps — many with disturbing images – were issued from its headquarters in Karachi on July 24 to locally and internationally highlight the plight of people living in Kashmir.

The stamps also carry captions such as 'Burhan Wani (1994-2016) freedom icon'. Wani (22) along with two of his associates was killed in a gunbattle with police in Anantnag district of Kashmir on July 8, 2016.

Besides the slain militant commander, other captions that feature on 'commemorative' stamps include 'use of chemical weapons', 'use of pellet guns', 'mass graves', 'braid chopping', and the pictures are that of terrorists killed in encounters in the Kashmir Valley over the last few years.

According to the newspaper report, the stamps were issued on 'Kashmir Martyrs Day' by the Philately Bureau, Karachi and are available on e-bay for $6.99 (approximately Rs 500). In Pakistan, the stamps are sold at Rs8 (local currency) per piece.

Philatelists in India are not amused, the report stated. "It is nothing but an attempt by the neighbouring country to malign our country’s image. I am a philatelist for more than two decades, but I have never come across such stamps that are a distortion of facts. The postal departments issue commemoration stamps to popularise their culture and uniqueness, but this is in poor taste," philatelist C Tamilvannan told TOI.

The pictures have been used to mislead people across the globe, the reported said quoting Jagannath Mani, a life member of Philately Congress of India. "The government of India should convey its objections and the Pakistan government should withdraw the stamps," he said, adding that he would write to the external affairs ministry against this issue.

Philatelists said they have brought the matter to the notice of Centre’s officials.