Pakistan rejects bifurcation of J&K as ‘illegal and void’

Srinagar: Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Geeta Mittal administers the oath of office to Girish Chandra Murmu as the first Lieutenant Governor of the newly-formed Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, at an oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on Oct 31, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Pakistan on Thursday rejected the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, terming the changes “illegal and void as per relevant UNSC resolutions”.

In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said changing of the status quo of J&K is “in complete violation of the UN Security Council Resolutions and Bilateral Agreements between India and Pakistan, especially the Simla Agreement.”

“The Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory. No step by the government of India can change this”.

It said that the August 5 move by India to abrogate special status for Jammu and Kashmir was “forced upon the people” of the erstwhile state “through the barrel of gun by turning the region into a prison by over 900,000 Indian security forces”.

It said that political leaders, civil society members, and common people including women and young children remain under illegal detention. “An iron curtain remains in place on more than eight million Kashmiri people snapping their communications with the outside world”.

The illegal and unilateral changes effected by India are in no way an “internal matter” as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains on the agenda of the Security Council, it added.

The statement said that the “purpose of these illegal changes is neither development of the region nor welfare of the Kashmiri people. The real motive is to alter the demographic structure of the Muslim majority state in pursuance of the extremist “Hindutva” ideology”.

“The international community must take notice that transfer of civilian population from outside into Jammu and Kashmir is in grave violation of the international laws particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

The statement said the move “threatens to destabilize the peace, security and stability of the South Asian region as well as the world”.

It demanded that India should immediately withdraw its military forces from the region, remove draconian laws, restore basic human rights of the people, free all detainees, lift all restrictions on the free movement and communications, allow unimpeded and full access to the UN and other international human rights observers, including independent foreign media. It is imperative that India implements the UN Security Council Resolutions on the right of Kashmiris to self-determination, without further prevarication.