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August 21, 2019

Pakistan to take Kashmir dispute to ICJ

ISLAMABAD: After reviewing legal, political and diplomatic aspects of Kashmir issue, Pakistan has decided to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kashmir after Indian prime minister Narendra Modi revoked and amended the Indian constitution to deprive Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) of its special status.

“We have decided to take Kashmir case to the ICJ. The decision was taken after considering all legal aspects,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced in Islamabad on Tuesday. The Ministry of Law will soon release details of Pakistan’s strategy to move the ICJ.

Earlier, the government had held lengthy meetings amongst legal experts whether it was prudent to move the ICJ, where already India has taken the case of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav against Pakistan. Lawyers of international repute would be engaged to present Pakistan’s case.

The decision to move the ICJ came after all members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last week in an emergency meeting agreed to take up and discuss the ongoing situation inside Kashmir. The UN secretary general has already issued a strong statement trashing India’s claim that Kashmir was an internal Indian issue, but rather pointed to the involvement of the UN in bringing a resolution to the decades-old issue.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also held a telephonic conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss the current situation in IHK.

Qureshi briefed his French counterpart on the illegal and unilateral actions of India to alter the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir, which was in contravention of the international law and UNSC resolutions. He underlined that the steps taken by India in IHK entailed a grave risk for peace and security in the region.

“The foreign minister apprised the French foreign minister of the continuously deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in IHK, including severe shortage of food and medicines, communications blackout and complete lock-down for the last 16 days,” said a statement from Qureshi’s office.

The minister expressed hope that France, as a permanent member of the UNSC, would play its due role to ensure peace and stability in the region. He urged France to impress upon India to lift the curfew and ameliorate the hardships and sufferings of the people in IHK.

Foreign Minister Drian stated that France was extremely concerned at the situation and urged both sides to engage in a bilateral dialogue. He emphasised the need to ensure that there was no further escalation. The French foreign minister underscored that they would have the same message for India. Shah Mehmood Qureshi earlier also said that he would be sending former foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua to highlight the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The issue will be raised at the UN body on September 09.

Qureshi said India had violated international agreements by taking unilateral decision on Kashmir. He said the Indian occupation forces were committing gross human rights violations in IHK.

Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman telephoned Prime Minister Imran Khan to exchange views on the current situation of IHK.

Imran Khan apprised the Saudi crown prince of the recent scenario in the occupied valley. Both leaders also discussed the entire regional situation during the call.

Earlier on Aug 07, Imran Khan had a telephonic conversation with the Saudi crown prince and told him about the worsening situation in the held valley amid the Modi government’s move to strip it of its special status on Aug 5.