PM Imran constitutes committee to formulate response to change in occupied Kashmir status

August 07, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy of Imran Khan Facebook page
Prime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy of Imran Khan Facebook page

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday constituted a seven-member committee to make recommendations to formulate Islamabad's legal, political and diplomatic response to the change in the status of occupied Kashmir by the Indian government.

The foreign minister, attorney general of Pakistan, foreign secretary, directer general of Inter-Services Intelligence, directer general military operations, directer general Inter-Services Public Relations and Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Special Envoy to Prime Minister, have been appointed as members of the committee.

A notification in this regard was issued today.

On Monday, India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party stripped Kashmiris of the special autonomy they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order. An indefinite curfew — that today entered its third day — was imposed in occupied Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest.

By repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in occupied Kashmir and settle there permanently. Kashmiris as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.

Furthermore, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also president of the BJP, moved a bill today to bifurcate the state into two union territories — one, Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and the other, Ladakh — to be directly ruled by New Delhi. The was passed.

Pakistan had strongly condemned the move and vowed to "exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps" taken by India. A joint parliamentary session was summoned today by President Arif Alvi so that the political leadership can devise future strategy with regards to occupied Kashmir.