Staff Reporter Islamabad
On the completion of two years of India’s annexation of Occupied Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the United Nations on Wednesday to play its role in upholding the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
In a letter addressed to the United Nations Security Council and Secretary General, Qureshi drew attention to the “blatant measures” taken by India on August 5, 2019, to consolidate its occupation of the disputed territory that was followed by additional unlawful steps.
According to Qureshi, “These additional steps include illegal changes to the demographic structure and electoral boundaries in the occupied territory which are aimed at further marginalisation of Kashmiri Muslims to suppress their demand for freedom from Indian occupation and repression.”
Qureshi said that Pakistan has categorically rejected all unilateral measures of India in Kashmir, including the end to its autonomy on August 5.
He said Pakistan would categorically reject “any further unlawful steps that may be imposed in the future”.
The foreign minister underlined that all such measures by India in Kashmir were “violation of the international law, including the UNSC resolutions and 4th Geneva Convention, and, are ipso facto, legally and materially, null and void”.
In his letter, the foreign minister said that the Indian government has deployed 900,000 troops in the region to suppress the Kashmiri people.
Similarly, India enforced the “most extended curfew and lockdowns, imprisoned the Kashmiri political leadership, illegally detained 15,000 Kashmiri youth, tortured and extra-judicially killed young boys, put down peaceful protests violently…and imposed collective punishments by demolishing and burning entire neighbourhoods and villages”.
Noting India’s active planning as well as promotion and financing of terrorist activities against Pakistan from across the border, including the recent bombing in Lahore, the FM urged the Security Council to push India to halt its terrorist and subversive campaign against Pakistan.
Recalling that a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people is essential for sustainable peace in South Asia, the FM emphasised that the onus remains on India to create a conducive environment for engagement and result-oriented dialogue.