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Imran contacts world leaders on Kashmir

Top Story

August 6, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad that India’s illegal actions to modify the special status of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) would have serious implications for the regional peace and security as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed the region to the verge of disaster.

As a part of outreach to world leaders on the recent developments in Indian Held Kashmir, he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue its diplomatic, moral and political support to the just cause of Kashmiri struggle for their right to self-determination, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

President Erdogan shared the concerns over the developing situation in the IHK and assured of Turkey’s steadfast support in this regard. Prime Minister Mahathir said that Malaysia was closely monitoring the situation in the IHK and would remain in touch. He added that he was also looking forward to meeting the Prime Minister on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York.

Meanwhile, calling it a Black Day for Indian Held Kashmir, Pakistan strongly condemned and rejected the announcements made on Monday by the Indian government regarding the Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir.

The government has summoned a joint session of parliament on Tuesday (today). Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the nation on television on the Kashmir situation. The Indian governmenton Monday stripped IHK of the special autonomy it has had for seven decades, revoking Article 370, which saw strong reaction from Pakistan, the Congress party inside India and the Amnesty International. Pakistan after summoning the Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisera to the Foreign Office also announced that it would be taking up this matter with the US delegation due in Islamabad.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the IHK people for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination.

“Pakistan condemns and rejects announcements made today by Indian government regarding Indian Held Jammu & Kashmir. We intend to firmly highlight our stance in our meetings with the US delegation visiting Pakistan and with the international community at large,” he said in a Tweet as news reports spoke about the minister leaving for performing Haj.

Qureshi also called on the United Nations to play its due role in resolving the Kashmir issue. “Today is a black day in the history of Kashmir. We cannot stay silent on the issue.” He said India was losing credibility on the international front as the people of IHK have opposed the Modi government’s decision. “The secular India of Nehru and Gandhi is dead. I foresee further repression; abrogation of Article 370 will lead to more bloodbath in IHK.” The minister added that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations (UN) had been briefed about the issue. “Time will prove that India has made a wrong decision,” he said. “India wants to completely occupy IHK. Modi’s India is the India of Hindutva.” He said the global Muslim community will have to play an effective role to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office in a statement said, “The Indian Held Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory. No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan”. As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan says it will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.

“Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood summoned the Indian High Commissioner, Ajay Bisara to the Foreign Office and conveyed a strong demarche on the announcements made and actions taken by the Government of India with regard to Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

The foreign secretary conveyed Pakistan’s unequivocal rejection of these illegal actions and said, “These are in breach of international laws and several UN Security Council resolutions. Pakistan’s resolute condemnation of the unlawful actions aimed at further consolidating the illegal occupation of Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir (IHK) was underscored”.

The foreign secretary also condemned the preceding pre-meditated steps such as complete lock-down of IHK, deployment of additional 180,000 troops, imposition of curfew, house arrest of Kashmiri leaders and suspension of communication services, among others. “Pakistan’s consistent opposition to all Indian attempts to change the demographic structure and final status of IHK was emphasised. India should halt and reverse its unlawful and destabilising actions, ensure full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and refrain from any further action that could entail serious implications”, the Foreign Secretary added. He reiterated that Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the indigenous legitimate Kashmiri people’s struggle for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination.

The Amnesty International also reacted to the Indian move and asserted that revoking Indian Held Kashmir's special status is likely to increase the risk of further human rights violations and inflame tensions. “The unilateral decision by Government of India to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status without consulting J&K stakeholders, amidst a clampdown on civil liberties and communications’ blackout is likely to increase the risk of further human rights violations and inflame tensions”, it stated in a statement on Twitter.

In an earlier statement, the Rights Group said repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in IHK and settle there permanently. Kashmiris as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers. "The unilateral decision of the Government of India to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under the Constitution of India without consulting J&K stakeholders and amidst a complete clampdown on civil liberties and communications’ blackout is likely to inflame prevailing tensions, alienate the people in the state and increase the risk of further human rights violations," read a press statement which was released after Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed an order revoking Article 370 of the constitution.

The rights group pointed out that the revocation of Article 370 is "expected to cause unrest and wide-scale protests in the state" but the Indian government's "heavy-handed" approach to curb protests and demonstrations had "led to gross human rights violations such as blinding, killing and traumatising people over the past few years".

The statement noted that thousands of additional troops had been deployed in the territory and a blanket curfew had been imposed that restricted residents' movements and denied them their right to peaceful protest. It further said that "blanket and indefinite suspensions of telecommunications services in J&K are also not in line with international human rights standards". "What J&K has been witnessing over the last few days — the additional deployment of thousands of security forces, a blanket blockade of telephone and internet services, restrictions on peaceful assembly — has already pushed the people of J&K to the edge. To make matters worse, key political stakeholders have been placed under house arrest. Important decisions about J&K are being decided by the Parliament without absolutely any consultation with the people,” the statement quoted Amnesty International India head Aakar Patel as saying.

The statement insisted "an end to the abuses" in the occupied territory could not be achieved until the residents are allowed to have a say in the matter.

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