Pakistan concerned at further changes by India in IIOJK

Islamabad urges Delhi to refrain from any further steps that might imperil the regional peace and security


Kamran Yousaf June 07, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan on Monday aired serious concerns over reports that India might be plotting further division, bifurcation and demographic changes in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to perpetuate its illegal occupation.

“No new instrument of occupation shall have any legal effect. India cannot change the disputed status of IIOJK, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, nor can it force Kashmiris and Pakistan to accept illegal outcomes,” Foreign Office said in a statement.

The statement, however, did not provide details of what changes India now intends to bring in the disputed region.

India on August 5, 2019, revoked the special status of the disputed territory and allowed non-Kashmiris to settle there in a clear violation of UNSC resolutions as well as bilateral agreements between the two countries.

Pakistan’s concerns came just days after Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview said Islamabad could resume talks with New Delhi if India at least gives a roadmap to reverse the changes it brought almost two years ago to the disputed region.

His statement raised hopes for a possible re-engagement between the two countries and was also attributed to back-channel efforts. But the latest development suggests that India is in no mood to review the changes, let alone reverse them altogether.

Read more: Inconsistent Kashmir policy

This means that any chance of re-engagement between the two nuclear-armed neighbours appeared slim.

It would also put pressure on the government in Pakistan as well as those who are in favour of some kind of engagement with India.

Tensions between the two countries have eased in recent months thanks to the back door efforts that resulted in the restoration of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).

The step was seen as crucial in the context of tensions between the two countries.

But the statement from the foreign office made it clear that there were little hopes for any breakthrough in the ties. “India’s unilateral and illegal actions in IIOJK remain violative of international law and the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolution,” the statement said.

It said that IIOJK is an internationally recognised disputed territory and Pakistan will continue to resolutely oppose Indian attempts to change the demographic structure and final status of IIOJK.

“We urge India to halt and reverse its unlawful and destabilising actions, ensure full compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions, and refrain from any further steps that might imperil the regional peace and security in South Asia,” the statement further read.

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“We call upon the international community, including the United Nations, world parliaments, international human rights and humanitarian organisations and global media to take immediate cognisance of the situation. India must be stopped from any further illegal action in the occupied territory.”

For its part, the statement noted, Pakistan remained firm in its commitment to provide all possible support to the people of IIOJK for the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination.

“Pakistan also reaffirms its commitment to a peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” it said.

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