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Pakistan seeks UN action over India’s Kashmir move

Foreign Minister Qureshi sent a letter to UN Secretary General

KARACHI, Pakistan (BT) – Pakistan has sought an immediate intervention by the United Nations over revocation of special status to the disputed Kashmir valley by India “that entails grave dangers to regional peace and security in South Asia”.

In a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood urged the UN “to immediately take note of the serious situation and urge India to stall state oppression and stop human rights abuses, refrain from unprovoked firing across the Line of Control ( LoC) and halt any actions that could bring about a material change in the situation on ground, in violation of Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir”.

Accusing New Delhi of committing “gross” and “systematic” violations of human rights in the disputed valley, Qureshi said: “The UN has a responsibility to speak out against these violations, documented by an independent entity such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and occurring in a territory recognized by the UN Security Council as disputed.”

Qureshi also charged New Delhi with violating the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding between Pakistan and India, causing civilian casualties and leading to heavy damages to civilian infrastructure.

Drawing the UN Secretary General’s attention towards fresh deployment of 10,000 paramilitary forces in Jammu Kashmir, he said: “the Indian occupied Kashmir is already the most militarized zone in the world, with over 700,000 troops deployed for several decades.”

” India is preparing ground to abolish Article 35-A of its Constitution as a first step, followed by the revocation of Article 370. Article 35-A defines the residents of IoK and limits subjects like property ownership and state citizenship to the current residents of the area,” he maintained.

Pakistan, he went on to say, had consistently opposed any steps that sought to alter the demographic structure of the disputed valley since they could materially affect the plebiscite arrangements to be held under the UN auspices.

“These Indian moves are also a clear breach of the UN Security Council Resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, particularly with regard to realization of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris. This is an old Indian ploy to which we had drawn your attention through Pakistan’s earlier letter dated 27 April 2017,” he said.

”Notwithstanding such Indian moves, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions provide that the final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the UN,” he added.

He reiterated Islamabad’s call for for establishment of a UN Fact-Finding Mission to visit the valley to assess the on-ground situation.

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