ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday strongly rejected the Indian government’s decision to scrap Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and vowed to exercise all possible options, including appealing to the UN, to counter India’s “illegal” and “unilateral” step.
Reacting to the announcement, Pakistan Foreign Office said “Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory”.
“No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan,” it said.
Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made by the Indian Government regarding Jammu and Kashmir, it said.
“As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” it said.
Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination, the statement said.
Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan would request and appeal to the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, friendly countries and human rights organisations not to remain silent on this issue.
The situation in Kashmir was more serious than before, Qureshi said.
“We will consult our legal experts…,” he added.
“There are several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on this and they have accepted this as a disputed territory… Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee had accepted this as a disputed territory,” said the foreign minister.
Qureshi said the move by India showed they no longer had any hope from Kashmiris.
The foreign minister stressed that Pakistan like before would continue to support the Kashmiri people and history would prove India’s decision wrong.
Pakistan on Sunday warned India that it is ready to respond to any “misadventure or aggression” by the Indian forces, as the country’s top civil and military leadership discussed the sudden spike in tensions with New Delhi during a meeting of the National Security Committee.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that India is totally disregarding the international obligations and the country’s “arrogance will only result in heightening the conflict dynamics in the region.”
Khan invited the attention of the world leaders and international bodies towards “irresponsible, unilateral and irrational behaviour” of the Indian leadership
Pakistan foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood on Monday called in India’n High Commisioner in Islamabad Ajay Bisaria to lodge a strong protest at India’s move to revoke Article 370 of the constitution and declare Jammu and Kashmir a union territory.
This followed a sharp reaction earlier in the day by the Pakistani foreign office.
“The Foreign Secretary conveyed Pakistan’s unequivocal rejection of these illegal actions as they are in breach of international law and several UN Security Council resolutions,” a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign office said.
“Pakistan’s resolute condemnation of the unlawful actions aimed at further consolidating the illegal occupation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK) was underscored,” it said.
Article 370, enacted in 1954, laid down that except for matters related to defence, foreign affairs, communications and issues specified in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir, the Parliament needs the state government’s ratification for all other laws. So far, residents of the state lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights.
According to the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill that was passed by the upper House of Parliament, Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature while Ladakh will not. Both regions have been designated union territories.
“The Foreign Secretary also condemned the preceding pre-meditated steps such as complete lock-down of IOK, deployment of additional 180,000 troops, imposition of curfew, house arrest of Kashmiri leaders and suspension of communication services, among others,” the Pakistani statement said.
“The Foreign Secretary called upon India to halt and reverse its unlawful and destabilizing actions, ensure full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and refrain from any further action that could entail serious implications,” it said.
“The Foreign Secretary reiterated that Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the indigenous legitimate Kashmiri people’s struggle for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination,” it added.