ISLAMABAD: As the Modi government revoked the special constitutional status of India-held Kashmir amid a heavy security crackdown in the disputed region, it was severely condemned by Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari on Monday.

Dr Mazari tweeted: “It is not enough simply to condemn this move against all international norms and international law along with United Nations Security Council [UNSC] resolutions. Kashmir is recognised as a disputed territory in UNSC resolutions. India cannot alter IoK status through its parliament.”

The human rights minister also suggested that Pakistan needed to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ). “ICJ must be approached immediately as well as moving to the UNSC and other international forums, including human rights organisations. This is illegal annexation of a militarily-occupied territory and completely unacceptable.”

Earlier, Dr Mazari wrote a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Indian use of cluster munitions across LoC and Indian occupation forces violence against Kashmiris.

Fakhar says no unilateral steps by New Delhi can change the status of held Kashmir

She also stated that the fresh wave of violations of international human rights laws by India come a little over a year since the OHCHR’s Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir, published on June 14, 2018.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also condemned India’s hostile act against the Kashmiris. She said this move by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exposed “fake secularism” of India.

“This step of the Indian government would ruin regional peace. This issue would also have an impact on Azad Jammu and Kashmir. I fear India would opt for genocide in occupied Kashmir,” said Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider while addressing a news conference on Monday.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said India cannot deny Kashmiris the right to self-determination through ruthless oppression and cruelty. He strongly condemned the use of cluster bombs by India on the civilian population living along the Line of Control (LoC).

Senate’s Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla said that India’s attempt to turn held Kashmir into a union territory by revoking Articles 370 and 35A will not succeed. “Kashmir is an independent state and Indian constitution cannot be implemented in the Valley,” he said. “We appeal to the international community to take stern notice of Indian atrocities being carried out by its armed forces in the occupied valley,” he added.

Chairman of the Kashmir Committee Syed Fakhar Imam also issued a condemnation. “No unilateral steps by the Indian government could change the status of Kashmir as it would be against the resolutions of United Nations, according to which only Kashmiris have this right,” he said.

The president of Pakistan Muslim League-Q Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said that held Kashmir would prove to be a graveyard of the Indian Army. A joint statement with Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi stated that the UN should take note of Indian action of violating the UN resolutions related to Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2019