KARACHI/islamabad - President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Khan on Sunday warned that if India did not stop its atrocities against Kashmiris, they would be forced to take up arms and defend themselves.

Protests erupted in Indian-held Kashmir yesterday when supporters demonstrated against the detention of senior Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani by Indian police. The Kashmiri leader was placed under house arrest in the morning shortly before he was to leave his residence to address a seminar in Srinagar. It led to protests by his supporters and other separatist leaders outside Geelani's residence.

According to reports, Indian police baton-charged demonstrators in Srinagar and used water cannons to disperse the protesters. Meanwhile, a ban has been enforced on the Hurriyat convention in Occupied Kashmir while detained Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah has been summoned to the Indian enforcement directorate in New Delhi.

The demonstrations come as high-level talks between Pakistan and India's national security advisors were called off after New Delhi objected to a planned meeting between the Pakistani officials and Kashmiri leaders ahead of the talks.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said "the scheduled NSA level talks cannot be held on the basis of the preconditions set by India". Similar talks were called off by India last year after Pakistani officials met senior pro-independence Kashmiri leaders ahead of the talks in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism killed three youth in Handwara area of Kupwara district in occupied Kashmir. Indian army has claimed that the youth were martyred in an encounter with troops, KMS reported.

Lauding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for raising Kashmir issue before the Indian authorities Sardar Yaqoob said that Kashmiris were thankful to Pakistan for their unconditional support to their freedom movement

“The way the prime minister and his team had shown determination on raising Kashmir issue is appreciable and the people of the valley are thankful for their stance,” he said in a press conference.

He said that the Indian government avoided the recent talks with the Pakistani government because Islamabad had substantial proof of Raw’s involvement in terror activities in the country.

“India is involved in terror activities across Balochistan, KPK, Punjab and Sindh and the United Nations should take notice of this,” he added.

The AJK president said that the India was a hindrance in peace and prosperity of Kashmir as well as the whole region of South Asia. “They do not have good relationship with any of their neighbouring country.”

Yaqoob said that the Kashmiris had been looking towards the Indian leadership for last seven years, however, none of them had paid heed to their demands and had always avoided talks on the issue. “India is against the Economic Corridor project of Pakistan which would initiate a new era of progress and prosperity in the region and therefore it has been trying to sabotage the project,” he said.

He also lambasted at Indian forces for restoring to unprovoked firing at Line of Control and Working Boundary and said that not only human beings but the animals were also not safe from this firing.

A 30-year-old man was killed in Buttal sector along the Line of Control as Indian Border Security Force resorted to unprovoked firing once again on Saturday evening.

“A civilian, M Akhtar son of Afzal, resident of village Dhur Bazari, was killed due to Indian firing along LoC in Buttal sector,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. Akhtar was shot by Indian troops when he was collecting sand from Poonch river, the statement added.