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Pakistan rejects India’s move to scrap Article 370

PTI Islamabad | Updated on August 05, 2019 Published on August 05, 2019

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan Foreign Minister   -  REUTERS

Vows to exercise ‘all possible options’ to counter it

Pakistan on Monday rejected the Indian government’s move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. They vowed to exercise “all possible options” to counter India’s “illegal” and “unilateral” step.

Home Minister Amit Shah announced the decision in the Rajya Sabha under which the Indian government revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

The decision to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and treat it like any other in the country is aimed at the ending the decades old separatist movement.

Reacting sharply to the Indian government’s announcement, Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said, “Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory“.

Read: Explainer: What is Article 370?

“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, the statement 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.

Read: Centre’s move on Kashmir a ‘murder of democracy’, says DMK

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.

“We intend to firmly highlight our stance in our meetings with the US delegation visiting Pakistan and with the International Community at large,” Qureshi said in a tweet.

The situation in Kashmir was more serious than before, he said, adding that Pakistan will consult legal experts.

Qureshi said that India by changing status of Kashmir violated its commitment made in the United Nations on the Kashmir issue.

Talking to the media, he claimed that the “Indian move to revoke Article 370 has no legal or constitutional justification.”

“India cannot change the public opinion through this move, and it has rather internationalised the Kashmir issue,” he said.

“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,” he said.

The foreign minister stressed that Pakistan would continue to support the Kashmiri people and history would prove India’s decision wrong.

Read: Revoking Article 370 is a ‘murder of democracy', say Left parties

Meanwhile, Pakistan President Arif Alvi has summoned a joint session of the Parliament on Tuesday to discuss the Indian government’s decision.

The joint sitting will review the tense situation in Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control, the media reported.

India’s move on Jammu and Kashmir was also “strongly condemned” by Pakistani politicians, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif who termed it “unacceptable” and an “act of treason” against the United Nations (UN).

He also called on the Pakistani leadership to immediately demand an emergency session of the UN Security Council and to consult with China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries.

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the move.

“President must immediately summon Joint session of Parliament in wake of Indian aggression” in Kashmir, he tweeted.

Human rights minister Shireen Mazari termed the Indian move as “completely unacceptable.”

“International Court of Justice must be approached immediately as well as moving the UNSC and other international forums including human rights organisation,” she said.

Read: Kashmiri Pandits hail move to scrap Article 370

Move to hamper relations between nuclear-capable neighbours, says Pakistan PM

Pakistan's 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.

He termed India’s move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution as “illegal”.

“India’s move will further deteriorate relations between nuclear-capable neighbours,” Khan said.

Published on August 05, 2019

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