Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif criticised Indian security personnel’s use of “excessive and unlawful force” against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir during protests triggered by the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. He also said he was deeply shocked over Wani’s killing in Anantnag on Friday, PTI reported.

Referring to separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammad Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq being kept under house arrest, Sharif urged India to not violate human rights. He also suggested that India hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir “to ascertain the will of the people for future alignment with either Pakistan or India”, India Today reported.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said in a statement that Pakistan’s remarks on the clashes in Jammu and Kashmir reflected the country’s “continued attachment to terrorism and its usage as an instrument of state policy”. “Pakistan is advised to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours,” the statement added.

Responding to Sharif’s remarks, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said, “Whatever is happening in Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India. If Pakistan wants to do something, it should stop human rights violations in the areas of Kashmir it has illegally captured.”

The toll in clashes across the state has risen to 23, and curfew-like restrictions continue to be in place. Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday held a second high-level meeting to discuss the law and order situation in the state, where tension remains high for the third consecutive day. The meeting was attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, besides other top security officials, NDTV reported.