Foreign Office spokesperson says repeatedly claiming Kashmir is an internal matter of India’s will not make it true
Pakistan on Sunday rejected as “irresponsible” remarks from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on a tweet by Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he had condemned recent Indian steps to change the demographic structure of India-held Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that India’s incessant regurgitation of the claim that Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was an “internal affair” would not be able to turn this falsehood into truth, nor make its illegal actions valid.
The spokesperson said Jammu and Kashmir was an internationally recognized “disputed” territory, as enshrined in the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. “These resolutions stipulate that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under the U.N. auspices,” she added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a series of tweets last week, had slammed the newly enacted Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020, and expressed solidarity with the people of India-held Kashmir. “We strongly condemn the racist Hindutva Supremacist Modi government’s continuing attempts to illegally alter the demography of IOJK in violation of all international laws and treaties. The new Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order, 2020, is a clear violation of the 4th Geneva Convention,” he had posted, adding that Delhi was exploiting the international attention on the COVID-19 pandemic to advance the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda of Hindu supremacy.
The new law makes Indians who have resided for 15 years in the occupied region, or have studied there for seven years and appeared in Class 10/12 examinations, eligible for domicile of the valley, making them permanent residents of Kashmir. This rule would primarily benefit children of Indian officials who have served in the valley for 10 years—and would alter demographics by including these people into the population of Kashmir.
Khan called on the U.N. and the global community to stop India’s continuing violations of UNSC resolutions and international law. “We stand with the Kashmiris in rejecting this latest Indian attempt to alter the demography of IOJK. Pakistan will continue to expose Indian state terrorism and its denial of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” he said.
Responding to Khan’s tweets, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar termed them “intemperate” and claimed Pakistan had no standing to comment on it. “Repeated attempts to interfere in India’s internal affairs will not make its untenable claims any more acceptable,” he said.
Echoing statements of Indian P.M. Narendra Modi, the spokesman added that “if Pakistan really wants to contribute to the welfare of the people of J&K, it could do so best by ending cross-border terrorism and desisting from its campaign of violence and false propaganda.”
“The latest Indian action, aimed at further usurping the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people through changing the domicile law at a time when the world is busy fighting COVID-19 pandemic, once again betrays the BJP leadership’s rank political opportunism and moral bankruptcy,” Farooqui continued.
“No amount of Indian sophistry could obfuscate India’s state-terrorism in IOJ&K and the RSS-inspired ‘Hindutva’ agenda being imposed by the BJP Government. Nor would India’s use of brutal force ever succeed in breaking the will of the Kashmiri people fighting for their inalienable right to self-determination,” she said, adding that Pakistan and its leadership would never flinch in their support for the just and legitimate cause of the Kashmiri people.