India’s ‘No’ to peace

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APPARENTLY emboldened by unilateral peace overtures by Pakistan, India is reported to be preparing for further division, bifurcation and demographic changes in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to perpetuate its illegal occupation.

In a statement on Monday, Pakistan Foreign Office expressed strong concerns over such reports reminding India that no new instrument of occupation shall have any legal effect adding that India cannot change the disputed status of IIOJK, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, nor can it force Kashmiris and Pakistan to accept illegal outcomes.

Though, at the moment, it is not clear what exactly India was planning to do in addition to what it has already done to alter the status of the disputed territory and in an attempt to perpetuate its illegal occupation but issuance of a policy statement by the Foreign Office is, understandably, not without any reason.

There are also reports on social media that India was planning to bifurcate the occupied territory.

It is highly loathsome that India was contemplating further illegal actions at a time when Pakistan was making goodwill gestures and expressing readiness to engage into dialogue with New Delhi.

There was nothing on record to express optimism about possibility of any flexibility in India’s stubborn attitude on the issue of universally recognized Kashmir dispute but some circles in Pakistan believed some sort of understanding might have been arrived at during the so-called track two or back channel diplomacy.

However, reports about India’s plan to carry out more illegal actions in Occupied Kashmir should serve, once again, as an eye opener for all those who are pinning hopes on prospects of peace in the region.

It is regrettable that at a time when people of Pakistan were expecting New Delhi to reverse its illegal annexation of the occupied territory and subsequent actions like measures to change demography of the region, India is moving a step further to perpetuate its occupation.

This practically amounts to a big ‘No’ to peace in the region that hinges on final and just settlement of the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir in line with the UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people.

The Foreign Office has rightly called upon the international community, including the United Nations, world parliaments, international human rights and humanitarian organizations and global media to take immediate cognizance of the situation and stop India from any further illegal action in the occupied territory.

Pakistan has done well by timely warning the world community about designs of India but more needs to be done through aggressive diplomacy especially sensitizing those members of the international community that reportedly facilitated back channel contacts between the two countries.