• Foreign minister writes a letter to Security Council’s president
• PM says world’s silence on developments in occupied valley akin to appeasing Hitler
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has drawn the attention of the United Nations Security Council presidency to the grave threat to peace and security in South Asia after India annexed occupied Kashmir and called for summoning an emergency meeting of the council to discuss the rapidly aggravating situation.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday night, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had written a letter to the UNSC president, asking the latter to convene an emergency meeting of the council to discuss India’s “illegal actions” that also “violate UN resolutions on Kashmir”.
Mr Qureshi also called his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz to discuss the request for convening the UNSC session on Kashmir.
The Polish foreign minister said a dispute between countries could only be resolved through dialogue, as also called for by the European Union. He stressed that, as a rotating chair of the UNSC, Poland would closely monitor developments in the region and maintain regular contact with the partners. Later talking to reporters in New York, Mr Czaputowicz said that there would be consultations on Pakistan’s letter soon.
There are 11 UN resolutions on Kashmir, with three specifically pertaining to the status of the occupied region.
Mr Qureshi further called for circulation of the letter among members of the Security Council.
Under the rules governing the convening of meetings, the president of the council may call for a meeting if a dispute or situation is brought to the attention of the Security Council under Article 35 or Article 11 (3) of the Charter, or if the General Assembly makes recommendations or refers any question to the council under Article 11 (2), or if the Secretary-General brings to the attention of the council any matter under Article 99.
Apparently, Pakistan is asking the UNSC president to call a meeting under Article 35 of the UN Charter which pertains to any situation that may lead to conflict and endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.
Mr Qureshi said Pakistan believed that India’s unilateral action of revoking the autonomous status of Kashmir not only threatened regional [peace], but also the world peace.
The foreign minister had last week visited Beijing to consult the Chinese leadership on Pakistan’s plan to take the issue to the Security Council. Chinese Minister Wang Yi had assured Mr Qureshi of full support on the move.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has, meanwhile, warned the world that its silence on developments in India-held Kashmir would be akin to appeasing Hitler.
The prime minister, in a couple of tweets on the eve of Eidul Azha, sought to draw the world’s attention to the Indian move to end occupied Kashmir’s autonomy by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution, the thinking behind it, its implications for Kashmir and peace in the region.
The tweets were made as Indian occupation forces undertook additional measures to stop protests on the occasion of Eidul Azha amidst continuing curfew and internet and telephone restrictions. Large congregations were disallowed in the held valley after last Friday’s experience when protests broke out at the end of Friday prayers. Media too is operating under severe restrictions in the occupied valley and very limited reporting on the situation there has come out so far.
“The curfew, crackdown and impending genocide of Kashmiris in IOK is unfolding exactly according to RSS ideology inspired by Nazi ideology. Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?” Mr Khan tweeted.
In continuation of what he had said in his speech to the joint session of parliament where he had blamed extremist Hindu ideology for the repression of religious minorities in India, Mr Khan added that RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP, was inspired by Nazis.
His reference to world appeasing Hitler was about the 1938 Munich Pact that British and French prime ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier signed with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler under which Germany annexed Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia, while the Czech government was anticipating that Britain and France would come to its assistance against German invasion.
Emphasising the gravity of the situation and that aggravation in the situation would not stop with Indian annexation of held Kashmir, the prime minister apprehended: “RSS ideology of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop in IOK; instead it will lead to suppression of Muslims in India and eventually lead to targeting of Pakistan. The Hindu Supremacists version of Hitler’s Lebensraum.”
PM Khan, meanwhile, continued with his outreach to world leaders. He most recently spoke to Iranian President Hasan Rouhani and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the situation in held Kashmir.
In his conversation with Mr Rouhani, the prime minister underlined the illegality of any change in the demographic composition of occupied Kashmir under international law and the serious risk of massive killings as part of the crackdown by Indian occupation forces in the valley. He said the world must immediately act to prevent the impending genocide of Kashmiris.
President Rouhani said Muslims of Kashmir must be able to use their legal rights and interests to be able to live in peace. He expressed concern over the atrocities and killing of innocent people in India held Kashmir.
Prime Minister Khan told President Widodo that the international community was duty bound to save Kashmiris from Indian atrocities and resolve the long-standing dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions. Both sides agreed that there was a need to resolve the issue peacefully and within the framework of international law.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019