ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Saturday rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of democracy being strengthened by local bodies’ elections in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and asked Delhi to allow the holding of plebiscite so that Kashmiris could exercise their right to self-determination.
Pakistan rejects the Indian prime minister’s preposterous and fallacious claims about ‘democracy’ in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), following the so-called election of ‘District Development Council,’ the FO said.
Mr Modi, while launching via video conferencing Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme that extends health insurance coverage to occupied territory, had said: “The people of J&K have voted to strengthen democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. People of all walks of life came out and voted for development in DDC elections.”
Anti-Modi political alliance — The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) — won a majority of seats in local elections, which were held in a staggered eight-phase process from Nov 28 through Dec 19.
The FO, while snubbing Mr Modi’s democracy claim, said: “The RSS-BJP brand of ‘democracy’ only means the muzzling of the Kashmiri voice and will, under the bayonets of Indian army guns”.
“The ‘new chapter’ that the RSS-BJP regime is writing in IIOJK is one marked by brutal military siege since 5 August 2019, egregious violations of human rights in the occupied territory, and untold sufferings for the Kashmiri people,” it added.
The FO underlined that “false Indian narratives” can neither deceive the Kashmiris and the world nor can it divert attention from the core issue of the Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination”.
“Rather than resort to diversions and obfuscations, India should end its illegal occupation and meet its obligation of holding a plebiscite allowing the Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the FO maintained.
Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2020