The joint parliamentary session convened on Wednesday to debate the country’s future course of action in the wake of India’s decision to scrap Kashmir’s special status passed a resolution condemning New Delhi’s “unilateral move”.
The resolution was presented by Kashmir Committee Chairman Syed Fakhar Imam and was passed unanimously. It rejects India’s “illegal, unilateral, reckless and coercive attempt to alter the disputed status of Indian occupied Kashmir as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions”.
Moreover, it decries “other regressive measures” to change Kashmir’s demographic structure as well as “the recent surge in unprovoked firing and shelling on unarmed civilian population across the Line of Control and use of cluster bombs by Indian forces in Azad Jammu and Kashmir”.
The resolution also denounces the “deployment of additional troops and atrocities in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and other recent developments”. It emphasises that the “enforcement and legitimacy of resolutions of the UNSC can never be diluted by unilateral actions”.
The parliament, in its resolution demanded that India stop the “brutalisation of the people of IOK through killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, mass blinding by pellet guns, and use of rape as an instrument of war”.
It also stipulates that the communications blackout in occupied Kashmir be lifted, the “prolonged curfew regime” be ended, that India “stops its ruthless cordon and search operations, immediately releases the Kashmiri leadership and restores civil liberties and fundamental freedoms of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
It further demands that “India honours its own commitment to the UN Security Council, Kashmiris and the international community”. It calls upon the UN Security Council to take cognisance of the matter and the UN Human Rights Council to constitute a Commission of Inquiry. It also calls upon Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation to “convene an extraordinary high level session immediately” and “work with the UN for an end to repression in IOK”.
Furthermore, it urges the Inter-Parliamentary Union and world parliaments to “censure the Indian Parliament’s role in violating UNSC resolutions and facilitation of unlawful actions in IOK”.
Lastly, it calls upon the international community “to warn India to refrain from undertaking any irresponsible, unilateral actions that may lead to a dangerous escalation that will have far reaching impact not only for South Asia but the entire world”.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also presented a policy statement following a meeting of the National Security Committee which outlined the immediate actions the government will be taking.
Both National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani took turns presiding over the joint session. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while addressing the session said that there are voices from within India itself which are crying foul over the move by India which scrapped Kashmir of its special status.
Qureshi quoting P. Chidambaram, a member of India’s Rajya Sabha (upper house) of the Parliament and former finance minister, said that the Indian parliamentarian had condemned
the move, terming the decision a “big mistake”.
He said that other enlightened ones in India, who do not subscribe to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology, are also reflecting similar views.
The foreign minister said that it had always been India’s diplomatic agenda to bury the issue of Kashmir. “Sometimes they would say it is a bilateral issue, sometimes they would say we are not at all ready for a third-party facilitation, other times they would say mediation is completely unacceptable. This has always been their policy.”
“And it has been their effort to hide the issue from the world. Today, I want to inform the parliament that with this move, India itself has internationalised the matter.”
“Today in the whole world, the Kashmir issue is being discussed and the struggle of Kashmiris a point of debate. And the concern we have seen internationally is hidden from no one.” Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that India’s actions in occupied Kashmir were tantamount to “war crimes done by a rogue government”.