ISLAMABAD: Senators on Tuesday lambasted India for violating the international law by illegally taking away the special status of occupied Kashmir and continuing with lockdown and curfew in the valley for 100 days.
Taking part in a discussion on the lockdown and curfew in Srinagar and future strategy of the government, they also criticised the United Nations for its failure to get its relevant resolutions on Kashmir implemented.
Former Senate chairman Farooq H. Naek said the UN inaction meant the global body was abetting and aiding the crimes being committed in occupied Kashmir. “This inaction on the part of the United Nations is a threat to the lives of the Kashmiris and also raises question about legitimacy of the United Nations as an organisation,” he remarked.
The PPP senator said the UN was encouraging India to do murderous tyranny, noting that this abetment was very dangerous. He asked the government to invoke Advisory Council of the International Court of Justice under Articles 65 and 66 of the ICJ.
Lambaste India for illegally taking away occupied valley’s special status and continuing with lockdown and curfew
He said the ICJ council had given advisory opinion 27 times and never given an opinion in favour of colonialism and against the right to self-determination. Observing that it could be the best course of action, he said the government should go for it instead of asking US President Donald Trump to be a mediator.
Mr Naek said India and Pakistan must engage Kashmiri representatives as full and equal partners in Kashmir negotiations, adding that the occupied valley must be opened for the international community with free access to international organisations. He said there must be an end to the practice of disqualification of candidates for public offices, who declined to pledge allegiance to India.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, while slating India for the lockdown and curfew in Srinagar and continuing with the orgy of death and destruction there, lamented that neither any solution could be found to the problem nor was there any change in the attitude of the Indian government.
He observed that Pakistan did not respond effectively to the Indian move to change the Kashmir status, adding that an impression was given that the situation in the held valley would change after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UN, but after that India further deteriorated it by saying that Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan would also be merged into the union.
Mr Haq said there was a failure of the international community, UN, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Pakistan as well to block India’s annexation move and find ways of resolving the Kashmir dispute. He said it was a misunderstanding among people around the world and even Kashmiris that Shimla and Lahore agreements were made against the Kashmiris. “This is due to the effects of internal politics,” he added.
PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman said the international community was acutely and gravely responsible for the crisis currently engulfing the region and the world, adding that 100 days of lockdown and curfew in Srinagar had wreaked havoc in the occupied valley.
She said the UN must be asked to look into this crucial dispute, adding that it was a humanitarian crisis of untold proportion, routinely being ignored by the world. She, however, said the good news was that 50 US Congressmen had written to Mr Trump about the issue.
Ms Rehman said the Modi government had changed the map of India quietly and tried to bring in the disputed territory of Kashmir, adding that India had blatantly rejected the UN view for the first time in history and changed the map. Referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s threat to block the flow of water from occupied Kashmir, she said there was a strategic threat for Pakistan if water was to be used as a weapon. She pointed out that Kashmir lies at the heart of a nuclear flashpoint and regretted that a mockery was being made of justice, international law and the UN by current day India.
Pointing out that there were several UN resolutions promising right to self-determination of the Kashmiris through a plebiscite, she said the Aug 5 revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was a slap in the face of the UN.
Meanwhile, the opposition senators protested over the absence of Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur during a debate on the unabated curfew and lockdown by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir. They raised slogans of “Silence on Kashmir unacceptable” while protesting over the absence of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the chairman of the parliamentary committee on Kashmir as well.
The protest prompted the chair to adjourn the house in the middle of the discussion till Wednesday (today). The house was told that the foreign minister was away to attend the funeral of his cousin and would wind up the discussion on Wednesday.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2019