In call with PM Imran, French and Jordanian leaders say 'closely observing' occupied Kashmir situation

Updated August 28, 2019

Email

This combo photo shows (L-R) French President Emanuel Macron, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jordanian King Abdullah II. — AFP/Wikimedia Commons/File
This combo photo shows (L-R) French President Emanuel Macron, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jordanian King Abdullah II. — AFP/Wikimedia Commons/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his resolve to highlight the human rights violations in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday telephoned French President Emmanuel Macron and Jordanian King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein to apprise both leaders of the current situation in the disputed territory.

The premier had, in a televised address on Monday, vowed to "act as Kashmir's ambassador" and discuss the issue on every platform.

Both leaders, in their conversation with Prime Minister Imran, said that the situation was being closely followed by their respective countries and stressed on the need for a peaceful resolution to the dispute, according to statements released by the Prime Minister's Office.

Occupied Kashmir has been under a strict lockdown imposed by the Indian government since the eve of August 5, when the region's autonomous status was revoked.

The move to place the region under curfew is being seen as a measure to prevent protests over the repealing of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which granted special autonomy to occupied Kashmir.

Despite the lockdown and communications blackout — which has now entered its fourth week — there have been reports of large protests.

'France closely observing situation'

While speaking to President Macron, the prime minister highlighted the "illegal and unilateral steps taken by India to change the disputed status of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and its demographic structure", a PM Office statement said.

The prime minister underscored that the measures taken by India were in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and international law and presented "a grave risk for peace and security in the region".

The premier spoke of the "severe hardships" faced by Kashmir's population in the wake of an unprecedented lockdown since August 5 and the resultant threat to "basic human rights, safety and security of the people".

President Macron said that "France was closely observing the situation" and underlined the need to "resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful means".

The two leaders also spoke of Pakistan's efforts to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. "The French president appreciated Pakistan’s positive role in bringing peace in Afghanistan," said the statement.

"The two leaders agreed to continue to work together for peace and stability in the region," it added.

'Jordan following developments'

In his conversation with the king of Jordan, the prime minister shed light on "India’s illegal and repressive policies in occupied Kashmir which have not only led to a grave humanitarian crisis but also endangered peace and security in the region".

Imran said that India, with its "unilateral and fascist actions" was aiming to "change the demography of the disputed territory", a blatant violation of UN resolutions and international norms.

Urging action on the part of the international community, the prime minister said it must "take notice of the Indian excesses and raise [its] voice for the oppressed people of Indian-occupied Kashmir".

King Abdullah said that "Jordan was closely following the developments" in the restive region. He called for de-escalation and a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.

He added that Jordan would "consult other countries on the situation in Kashmir", according to the PM Office handout.

In March, following a rise in tensions with India in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, the Jordanian king had offered mediation to help de-escalate the crisis.

Another letter to the UN

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed another letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council detailing the continuation of troubling developments in the disputed territory, according to a statement by the Foreign Office.

The foreign minister emphasised the importance of the immediate lifting of the curfew imposed in the restive region and reiterated "Pakistan's concerns over India staging another 'false flag' operation to divert [the] world’s attention from its illegal and unilateral actions".

"India’s irresponsible and belligerent rhetoric on the nuclear issue has also been highlighted," read the Foreign Office handout.

FM Qureshi has requested the Security Council to double the strength of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observers and to "persuade India to allow them to patrol on its side of the Line of Control (LoC) as well".

He further requested the Council to consider "all possible avenues available" under the UN Charter to fulfil its responsibility of maintaining peace in the region.

The foreign minister had earlier addressed communications to the Security Council president on August 1, 6 and 13.

Furthermore, the Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to lodge a protest against fresh ceasefire violations on the Line of Control.

According to a press release issued by the FO, Director General South Asia and Saarc Dr Mohammad Faisal condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the LoC on August 27, which had left two civilians dead and four others wounded.