Pakistan is not looking at a military option over Kashmir, however, she reserves the right to respond to any Indian aggression, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday, after India stripped Occupied Kashmir of its special autonomy.
Talking to mediamen, Qureshi said, “We’re not looking at military option,” adding, “Don’t we reserve a right to respond in case of any aggression?”
He added, “We have decided to go back to the UN security council to challenge this Indian position, which is morally incorrect.” He said the decision had been taken in light of several pre-existing UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.
The minister said Pakistan rejected New Delhi’s impression that scrapping Article 370 of the Indian constitution was its “internal matter”, saying the claim was wrong from a historical, legal and moral perspective.
He also questioned India’s claim that the change in the constitutional status was aimed at taking steps for the welfare of Kashmiris, wondering what had stopped New Delhi from taking such measures since Article 370 was inserted into the Indian constitution seven decades ago.
Noting that as many as 900,000 troops had been deployed in occupied Kashmir, he asked the Indian government whether turning the region into a virtual “jail” was one of its welfare steps.
Challenging India’s claim that the Kashmir move was its internal matter, Qureshi said former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had declared “countless times” making at least 14 solemn promises and commitments that “the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of her people.”
“The goodwill and pleasure of this (Indian) parliament is of no importance in this matter,” the minister quoted Nehru as further saying.
In an address to the nation in 1947, Nehru had said: “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. We will not, and cannot, back out of it.”
According to Qureshi, Nehru had told the Indian constituent assembly on one occasion that, “As soon as peace and order have been established, Kashmir should decide of accession by plebiscite or referendum under international auspices such as the United Nations.”