Pakistan’s foreign minister calls on global body to urge Delhi against making any additional changes to demographic structure of disputed territory
In a letter addressed to the U.N. Security Council president and the U.N. secretary-general, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has conveyed Pakistan’s concerns about India initiating additional illegal actions to alter the status quo of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday, Qureshi highlighted that recent media reports had indicated India might “be contemplating the imposition of further illegal and unilateral measures in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), including division, bifurcation and additional demographic changes in the occupied territory.”
In his letter, the foreign minister stressed that India’s military siege of the part of Kashmir it controls had been ongoing for 22 months, adding that it included a massive campaign to suppress Kashmiris’ legitimate demands as well as gross and systematic violations of human rights. “The foreign minister recalled that, since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of Aug. 5, 2019, Indian occupation forces have killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of Kashmiris, and put almost the entire Kashmiri leadership behind bars,” read the statement.
It alleged that India’s intent to undermine the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people through changes to the disputed territory’s demographic structure with the help of “fake” domicile certificates was a clear violation of international law, including relevant Security Council Resolutions and the 4th Geneva Convention.
In his letter, Qureshi urged the UNSC to “fulfil its responsibility to ensure full implementation of its resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” and stressed that the residents of Kashmir had “vociferously rejected” the illegal measures imposed by India. He also called upon the global body to urge New Delhi to “end its campaign of repression,” reverse all its “illegal” actions, and cease attempts to impose any additional unilateral changes.
According to the Foreign Office, the minister reiterated Pakistan’s desire of peaceful relations with all its neighbors, including India, adding that this was only possible if Delhi created “an enabling environment for result-oriented engagement.” He also stressed that a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiris was “essential for durable peace and stability in South Asia.”
The statement said that the letter had been handed to the president of the Security Council by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. in New York.
This is not the first letter forwarded to the global body by the foreign minister, who has penned several missives calling for action against India since it unilaterally abrogated the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir on Aug. 5, 2019. The latest letter follows the Foreign Office, last week, issuing a statement expressing concern over reports that the Indian government was planning new “administrative and demographic changes” in India-held Kashmir.