On the completion of two years since India’s illegal and unilateral actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) accompanied by draconian measures to suppress the Kashmiri population, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has addressed a letter to the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General.
In his letter, the Foreign Minister has drawn attention to the blatant measures taken by India on 5 August 2019 to consolidate its occupation of the disputed territory, followed by additional unlawful steps to strengthen its colonial hold over IIOJK. These additional steps include illegal changes to the demographic structure and electoral boundaries in the occupied territory, aimed at further marginalisation of Kashmiri Muslims to suppress their demand for freedom from Indian occupation and repression.
The Foreign Minister has categorically rejected all unilateral measures initiated by India in IIOJK, including the illegal measures announced by it on and after 5 August 2019, as well as any further unlawful steps that may be imposed in the future. The Foreign Minister has underlined that all such measures by India in IIOJK are violations of international law, including the UNSC resolutions and 4th Geneva Convention, and, are ipso facto, legally and materially, null and void.
The letter highlights that, in order to suppress the people in IIOJK, India has deployed 900,000 security personnel; enforced the most extended curfew and lockdowns; imprisoned the Kashmiri political leadership; illegally detained 15,000 Kashmiri youth; tortured and extra-judicially killed young boys; put down peaceful protests violently, including by the use of pellet guns; and imposed collective punishments by demolishing and burning entire neighbourhoods and villages.
Noting India’s active planning as well as promotion and financing of terrorist activities against Pakistan from across the borders, including the recent bombing in Lahore, the Foreign Minister has urged the Security Council to demand that India halt its terrorist and subversive campaign against Pakistan.
Recalling that a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people is essential for sustainable peace in South Asia, the Foreign Minister has emphasized that the onus remains on India to create a conducive environment for engagement and result-oriented dialogue. To create such an environment, India must reverse all unilateral and illegal measures imposed in IIOJK, including those initiated on and after 5 August 2019; rescind the demographic changes initiated in IIOJK; and halt its oppression and human rights violations in IIOJK.
In addition to urging the UNSC to demand that India take these measures, the Foreign Minister has also called upon the Security Council to fulfil its obligation to ensure the full implementation of its resolutions guaranteeing the exercise of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
This latest letter from the Foreign Minister is in continuation of Pakistan’s regular communications since August 2019 to keep the United Nations fully apprised of the grave situation in IIOJK, and to remind the Security Council of its responsibility to secure a peaceful and just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with its resolutions.