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Peace to remain a distant dream in South Asia, until the longstanding J&K dispute is peacefully resolved: Pakistan’s FM Bilawal

Bilawal said the Hindutva" ideology, the RSS-BJP regime in India initiated illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory

Faheem Mian
New York:

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday said that the Hindutva” ideology, the RSS-BJP government in India has initiated illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory in gross violation of international law, and urged the UN to implement its resolutions in letter and spirit.

Addressing the ministerial meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, Bilawal thanked the Secretary-General for providing an update on the implementation of the action plan that was adopted during the last meeting of the OIC Contact Group on the margins of the 48th OIC CFM in Islamabad.

“Today’s interaction would help us take stock of the prevailing political and security environment and the consequent impact on the humanitarian and human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and consider ways and means to address these challenges,” Bilawal said.

Last month marked the completion of three years of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 05 August 2019 aimed at changing the internationally recognized “disputed” status of Jammu and Kashmir and altering the demographic structure of the occupied territory in blatant violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

To this end, India has resorted to a series of illegal actions, gross and consistent violations of human rights, and other crimes:

First, there is no letup in the Indian military deployment in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Roughly 900,000 troops to date. This military deployment is the densest occupation in recent history.

Second, this massive Indian occupying force has continued to perpetrate vicious and repressive actions, including:

He said extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake encounters; Custodial killings and “cordon-and-search” operations; the use of pellet guns to kill, maim, and blind peaceful protestors; o the abduction and enforced disappearance of 15,000 young Kashmiri boys; and “collective punishments” with the destruction and burning of entire villages and urban neighborhoods.

Third, the Indian authorities incarcerated the entire Hurriyat leadership, the true representatives of Kashmiri political aspirations. Most Hurriyat leaders are subjected to brutal and inhumane treatment at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

Fourth, in pursuance of the “Hindutva” ideology, the RSS-BJP government in India has initiated illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory in gross violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. This is central to its scheme of converting the Muslim majority into a Hindu-majority territory to drown out the demand for freedom and self-determination.

New “domicile rules” have been introduced, and over 4 million fake domicile certificates have been issued to Hindus from across India to settle in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The land and properties of Kashmiris are being confiscated for military and official use, Bilawal added.

Through an exercise of reallocation of electoral seats in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir “legislature” and the gerrymandering of electoral boundaries within the occupied territory by a so-called “Delimitation Commission” Muslim representation is to be further reduced, and the voices for freedom further silenced.

There will be no peace in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is peacefully resolved on the basis of justice and international legitimacy.

The dispute has remained unresolved primarily due to India’s refusal to implement the resolutions of the Security Council, which stipulated that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

The ceasefire understanding of 25 February 2021 along the Line of Control (LOC) was a prime example of Pakistan’s efforts to maintain peace along the LOC, save precious Kashmiri lives, and alleviate the sufferings of Kashmiris living along both sides of the LOC.

We expected that India would take positive steps to enable the resumption of dialogue to resolve the dispute. Instead, India intensified its repression.

Pakistan is prepared to resume a dialogue with India to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. However, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment for such a dialogue. It must:

– Reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted on 05 August 2019;

– Halt its human rights violations in IIOJK;

– Halt and reverse the demographic changes in the occupied territory.

Pakistan’s FM said that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, along with Palestine, is one of the two longest- standing items on the UN and OIC agenda.

Pakistan greatly appreciates the OIC’s continued and unequivocal support for this just cause.

The OIC has been at the forefront of efforts to support the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for their inalienable right to self-determination, as reflected in the decisions and resolutions of the Islamic Summits and Council of Foreign Minister sessions and the statements issued by the OIC’s General Secretariat.

The OIC’s Contact Group has made an invaluable contribution to galvanizing international attention on the worsening situation in IIOJK.

OIC support remains fundamental to efforts toward a lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, as captured in the action plan agreed in Islamabad earlier this year.

He urged for an active support in raising the issue at relevant UN fora, including the possibility of writing a joint letter to the Security Council on behalf of the Contact Group conveying its outcome documents.

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