Pakistan welcomes UN reiteration of unchanged stance on Kashmir dispute

Published August 7, 2021
A file photo of the building of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan
A file photo of the building of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan

Pakistan on Saturday welcomed the UN's reiteration that its position on Indian occupied Kashmir remained unchanged and it continued to see the valley as disputed territory, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO).

The statement came days after UN Secretary General Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric clarified during a news briefing in New York that the UN's "position on Kashmir is well established and has not changed". The clarification followed a claim by India’s UN Ambassador TS Tirmurti that the disputed state was now an “integral” part of India.

Appreciating the UN's stance, the FO, in a statement issued today, said: “Pakistan welcomes the reiteration of the position of UN on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute by the spokesperson of the UN secretary-general. The statement reaffirms that [the] UN position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is well-established and has not changed."

The FO appreciated the timing of the UN statement, which coincided with the completion of two years of "India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)".

On August 5, 2019, India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had revoke occupied Kashmir's special status by repealing Article 370 of the constitution. The move allowed people from the rest of India to have the right to acquire property in occupied Kashmir and settle there permanently.

The FO reiterated on Saturday that the move was in violation of the UN Charter, UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and international laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It also rejected the "self-serving remarks" by India’s permanent representative to the UN, who claimed that "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India."

"India would do well to remind itself that Jammu and Kashmir remains an internationally recognised dispute and one of the longest outstanding items on the UNSC’s agenda. It never was and never will be a part of India," the FO asserted, adding that "regurgitation of false and fabricated claims does not change the reality."

It also pointed out in the statement that numerous UNSC resolutions had established that the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir would be made in accordance with the wishes of the people of the valley, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite held under UN auspices.

"Ultimately, India will have to give in to the will of the Kashmiris and the commitment of the international community as enshrined in numerous UNSC Resolutions.” the FO said.

The statement is a reiteration of Pakistan's stance on Kashmir, which has been stated multiple times by the military and political leadership, and most recently on the occasion of Youm-e-Istehsal (the day of exploitation) on Thursday, observed to mark two years since New Delhi stripped the valley of its special autonomy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had issued separate statements on the day, calling out India for its continuous "inhuman military siege" and "unprecedented oppression" in occupied Kashmir.

The prime minister, in a series of tweets, had said: "Today marks two years since India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 Aug 2019 in IIOJK. In these two years, the world has witnessed unprecedented oppression in IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir) by Indian Occupation forces. It is also witnessing Indian efforts to force demographic change and destroy Kashmiri identity."

Meanwhile, the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), the military's media wing, had quoted COAS Bajwa as saying that the “continuation of an inhuman military siege, machinations to bring demographic changes and gross violations of human rights and international laws are perpetuating humanitarian and security crises in IIOJ&K" that imperil regional security.

A day earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also written letters to the UNSC and the UN secretary general, drawing their attention to “unlawful steps” being taken by India after the annexation of the disputed region of Kashmir to strengthen its “colonial hold” on the territory.

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