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August 6, 2020

UNSC special meeting discusses Kashmir’s HR situation

Top Story

August 6, 2020

ISLAMABAD: A special meetings of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was convened in New York on Wednesday to discuss deteriorating human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), a senior diplomatic source told The News.

No official details had been released of the meeting which was held behind closed door with Indonesian representative in chair.

China which is among the five permanent security council members pushed for the meeting owning to reports of widespread human rights violations and crippling curfew in the Indian held part of the disputed territory.

The situation has worsened in the occupied Kashmir since India unilaterally annexed the Himalayan territory last year on August 5 and placed extensive security clampdown in the Muslim majority areas to quell any popular backlash.

Countrywide rallies were held across Pakistan and around the globe by Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora to condemn the Indian action on its first anniversary. The senior diplomatic source today’s security council meeting was a “blow to New Delhi which tried its level best to prevent it”.

New Delhi also dismisses occupied state legislative assembly on August 5, 2029, and arrested the entire political leadership in the valley. The move was vehemently condemned by Pakistan which pushed for the issue to be raised in the UN Security Council since the territory had been declared a disputed one through various resolutions in 1948 and later years.

The diplomatic source said Wednesday’s meeting was a vindication of Prime Minister Imran Khan diplomatic onslaught against the Indian action and a step to bring back the Kashmir issue on the UN agenda.

This was the fourth such meeting on Jammu and Kashmir since August 16 last year. Two other closed-door meetings were held in December 2019 and January this year. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomed the meeting held at the United Nations Security Council on Pakistan’s request to discuss the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, calling it a mark of solidarity of the international community with the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

"We are grateful to all the members of the UN Security Council, especially China for their support in organising the meeting in the Council," the foreign minister said in his remarks after the UNSC held meeting on Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The foreign minister said at Pakistan’s request, the UN Security Council discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir for the third time in a year. He said India took desperate attempts to prevent this discussion and later went to an absurd extent to minimize the importance and significance of the meeting.

He said India failed to convince the Council that Jammu and Kashmir was a “bilateral issue” - a mantra that its ideological and expansionist-driven leadership can no longer hide behind the so-called ‘Shining India’.

The meeting held on the day Pakistan marked the Youm-e-Istehsal (Day of Siege) of India’s illegal measures in IIOJ&K, signified the fact that Jammu and Kashmir was an international dispute.

“The UN Security Council convened this meeting within 72 hours of Pakistan’s request, has reaffirmed the validity of its resolutions that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute will be made through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations,” he said.

He said India through its sophistry and obfuscation, could not create a smokescreen for unilateral and illegal actions in IIOJ&K taken since 5 August 2019. He mentioned his letter to the President of the UN Security Council, where he apprised the Council of the serious threat to international peace and security resulting from Indian belligerent posturing against Pakistan; its gross and systematic human rights violations in IIOJ&K; and its introduction of a series of new domicile rules to open up gates for ‘demographic flooding’ in IIOJ&K.

Along with the letter, Pakistan also circulated two comprehensive papers on the legal aspects of the dispute and the egregious human rights violations in IIOJ&K, as official documents of the Security Council, he added.

He said India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 were aimed at altering the demography of IIOJ&K, in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions and international law, in particular 4th Geneva Convention.

Qureshi said the current military siege of IIOJ&K by the Indian occupation forces and its belligerent posturing against Pakistan had resulted in an increased number of ceasefire violations across Line of Control (LoC), which posed a serious threat to peace and security in South Asia and beyond.

“Led by ‘Hindutva’ ideology, RSS-BJP accolades are resorting to war-mongering attitude towards all their neighbouring countries, threatening to use force, committing massive violations of human rights in IIOJ&K and marginalizing Muslim population, to quash freedom movement,” he said.

He said Pakistan was gratified that the Security Council had once again considered the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

“We call upon India to reverse its unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, stop human rights and ceasefire violations, remove restriction on communications, movement and peaceful assembly, immediately release Kashmiri leadership; undo domicile rules designed to change the demographic structure of the IIOJ&K, implement UN Security Council resolutions; and refrain from threat of use of force against its neighbouring countries,” he said.

Qureshi assured the Kashmiris that Pakistan would continue to serve as their voice across the world. “The Government of Pakistan and its people salute Kashmiri resistance and their sacrifices, which will come to fruition sooner than later,” he said. He said Pakistan stands resolutely with the Kashmiris for the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.