In an attempt to draw the the attention of the United Nations to India’s continued military siege of IOK, “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”, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote a letter to the UNSC president and the United Nations Secretary General.
In his letter, he highlighted “all the unilateral and illegal actions taken by India in occupied Kashmir since 1951, including the measures initiated on and after August 5, 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.”
Earlier, Foreign Office had expressed grave concern over reports of the Indian government’s purported plans to trigger new “administrative and demographic changes” in IOK.
“India cannot change the disputed status of [occupied Kashmir], as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions, nor can it force Kashmiris and Pakistan to accept illegal outcomes,” the FO had stated.
Qureshi expressed worry over India’s design to undermine the exercise of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people by changing the demographic structure of IOK through issuance of fake domicile certificates in his letter to UNSC.
He said that ever since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019, Indian forces had killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of Kashmiris and pur almost the entire Kashmiri leadership behind bars.
Stressing that the people of IOK have “vociferously rejected” the illegal measures imposed by India, Qureshi called upon the UN Security Council to fulfil its responsibility to ensure all-out implementation of its resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.
He also urged the UNSC to call upon India to cease its campaign of repression in IOK and reverse all its illegal actions, including those initiated on and after August 5, 2019, and “to desist from imposing any additional unilateral changes in the occupied territory.”.
Noting that a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people is essential for durable peace and stability in South Asia, the foreign minister emphasised that the onus was on India to create an enabling environment for result-oriented engagement with Pakistan.
The foreign minister’s letter has also affirmed that Pakistan desired peaceful relations with all its neighbours, including India.
Foreign minister’s letter was handed over to the president of the UN Security Council by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN in New York.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that India must reevaluate its unlawful and destabilising actions in IOK and fully comply with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Any further steps by India could “imperil regional peace and security”, he said.