Pakistan issues postage stamps ‘commemorating’ Burhan Wani as ‘freedom icon

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New Delhi: Needling India on Kashmir issue again, Pakistan released 20 “commemorative” postage stamps which portray slain militant as “victims of atrocities by Indian troops in Kashmir”. According to a report by TOI, Islamabad released these stamps to highlight the plight of Kashmiris who are fighting against “the Indian oppression”. The stamps were issued on ‘Kashmir Martyrs Day’ by Pakistan’s Philately Bureau.

One of the stamps shows terrorist Burhan Wani – who was killed in an encounter by the security forces along with two of his associates in Anantnag district in July 2016 – as freedom icon.

The series of 20 postal stamps are up for sale on e-Bay and few online trading sites. While the stamps are available on e-bay for USD 6.99 (approximately Rs 500), in Pakistan they are sold at Rs 8 (local currency) per piece, ToI reported.

Speaking on the issue, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that Pakistan releasing Burhan Wani stamps is not only a provocation but it’s also an assault on the sovereignty of the country.

“Mutilating the jawan, stamp of ‘terrorist’ Burhan Wani and then asking for talks. Pakistan feels it can get away with it because there is no coherence in the Indian Government. The foreign policy of this government has been an absolute unmitigated disaster,” he added.

However, philatelists in India have expressed disappointment over this release. “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.

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, seeking to re-start the bilateral talks on key issues “challenging the relationship” including on terrorism and Kashmir, an offer which was today accepted by the Indian government.

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