For the first time in Kashmir Valley, a Chinese flag was waved alongside the Pakistani flag. Incidentally, the flag waving which coincided with the start of the BRICS summit in Goa, took place during post-Friday congregation protests in North Kashmir town of Baramulla.
The joined Pakistani and Chinese flag was emblazoned with the message: “Long Live Pakistan-India friendship. Kashmiris are waiting for your help China”.
The surfacing of the Chinese flag has surprised many people in Kashmir. Though Pakistani flags are usually hoisted in the protests in Kashmir, including even those belonging to militant outfits and occasionally those of ISIS, Chinese flag has never been a part of any Kashmir rally.
There were two such flags, one on each side of the Imam leading the prayers. Sensing that the people were curious about the Chinese flag, one of the speakers before the prayers told them that the flag had been hoisted in recognition of the Beijing’s help for the Kashmir cause.
“You know, China has supported when the rest of the world has been quiet about the human rights violations in Kashmir,” the speaker said. “Hence we are waving Chinese flag to appreciate the country’s help”.
Earlier, China has, however, been a part of the local discourse on Kashmir. Beijin’s friendship with Pakistan at a time when US is perceived to have titled conspicuously towards New Delhi is seen as helpful to the solution of Kashmir.