A New Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced to life in prison Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik, who had earlier pleaded guilty to all charges, in a “terror” financing affair.
According to the report, India’s NIA had sought the death sentence before the court Malik.
The report, citing sources from the Indian news agency PTI, stated that the Kashmiri leader had submitted that he would not “beg” for clemency and that the court could decide at its discretion.
He claimed that if Indian information can prove that he had been involved in terrorist or violent activity for 28 years then he would pull out of politics, and also accept the hanging.
The judge, however, said that since he has already been convicted, there was no basis for discussing the facts of the case and he already had a chance, said the report.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called it a “black day for Indian democracy and its judicial system”.
“India can imprison Yasin Malik physically but it can never imprison the idea of freedom he symbolises. Life imprisonment for valiant freedom fighters will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also forcefully condemned the unjust sentence of the Hurriyat leader in a “false trial”. “India can never silence Kashmiris’ voice for freedom and self-determination. Pakistan stands with Kashmiri brothers and sisters, will continue to provide all possible support in their just struggle,” he tweeted.
Last week, Hurriyat’s leader was found guilty by an Indian court in a “terrorism case” after he protested the charges against him, stating that he is a freedom fighter.
The Delhi court directed the NIA to assess his financial position in order to determine the amount of fine to be imposed, Indian media reported.
The court also ordered Malik to file an affidavit revealing all his financial sources.
The charges against him included raising funds for the terrorist act, conspiracy to commit crimes, sedition, and others.
“The terrorism charges against me are baseless, fabricated, and politically motivated,” said his organization, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.