Pakistan has approached the UN Security Council (UNSC), expressing grave concern on reports that suggest India may be contemplating the imposition of further “illegal and unilateral measures” in the Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
A letter addressed to the UNSC president, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi conveyed to the world body’s top decision-making organ about Indian government’s possible plans, seeking division, bifurcation and additional demographic changes in the occupied territory.
It is not clear nor did the letter explain what new measures India is currently contemplating with regard to the disputed territory. India on August 5, 2019, unilaterally revoked the special status of the disputed territory, invoking a strong reaction from Pakistan, which termed the changes as illegal and in violation of the UNSC resolutions.
The unilateral Indian actions led to the downgrading of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries with Islamabad linking the resumption of dialogue with New Delhi to the reversal of the August 5, 2019 actions.
There were hopes of a possible thaw after the two countries agreed to restore the 2003 ceasefire understanding in February. But the latest reports, suggesting that India might be bringing more changes to the disputed territory, are likely to dash hopes for any rapprochement.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in a recent interview indicated that Pakistan could re-engage with India even if New Delhi simply gave a road map to reverse the August 5 actions. But India seems not in a mood to offer anything on Kashmir at the moment. Instead the relationship may deteriorate further if India further brings changes to the Kashmir region.
In his letter, according to the Foreign Office, the foreign minister has drawn attention to India’s continued military siege of IIOJK, which has continued for over 22 months, to suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate demands through a massive campaign of repression, including gross and systematic violations of human rights.
The foreign minister recalled that since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, Indian occupation forces had killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of Kashmiris, and put almost the entire Kashmiri leadership behind bars.
Qureshi highlighted India’s design to undermine the exercise of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people by changing the demographic structure of IIOJK through the issuance of fake domicile certificates and other measures.
Qureshi underscored that “all the unilateral and illegal actions taken by India in IIOJK since 1951, including the measures initiated on and after 5 August 2019, and any additional unilateral changes that India may introduce in the future, are violations of international law including the Security Council Resolutions and the 4th Geneva Convention, and ipso facto null and void.”
Stressing that the people of IIOJK have vociferously rejected the illegal measures imposed by India, the foreign minister has called upon the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility to ensure full implementation of its resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
He also urged the Security Council to call upon India to end its campaign of repression in IIOJK and reverse all its illegal actions, including those initiated on and after 5 August 2019, and to cease and desist from imposing any additional unilateral changes in the occupied territory.
The foreign minister’s letter – which was handed over to the president of the Security Council by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN in New York – also affirmed that Pakistan desired peaceful relations with all its neighbours, including India.
“Noting that a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people is essential for durable peace and stability in South Asia, the foreign minister has emphasized that the onus is on India to create an enabling environment for result-oriented engagement with Pakistan,” he wrote.
The foreign minister has been regularly addressing letters to the Security Council and the UN secretary-general in order to keep the UN fully informed about the grave situation in the territory occupied by India, and to remind the Security Council of its responsibility for peaceful and just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.