India is trying to change J&K demography, says Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday alleged that there were efforts to “change the demography” of Kashmir through what he called “ethnic cleansing”, and appeared to link the Indian government’s decisions on removing special status for the region with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological fount of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In a series of tweets, Khan said that the RSS’s ideology of “Hindu supremacy” will lead to the “suppression of Muslims in India and eventually lead to the targeting of Pakistan”. He also asked if the world will watch silently as the events unfold in Kashmir.
There was no immediate response from India or the RSS to Khan’s comments. New Delhi maintains that its decision to revoke special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir, a move that has irked Pakistan, is an internal matter.
The government has further maintained that integrating Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the India will provide people new economic and development opportunities.
Separately, Khan called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday as part of his outreach to the world leaders to apprise them about the situation in Kashmir, his office said.
Last Monday, India nullified Article 370 and withdrew the state’s autonomy, bifurcating the region into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
In reaction to the move, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations by expelling the Indian high commissioner and suspending trade ties with New Delhi in a slew of measures aimed at mounting pressure on India. “The Prime Minister underlined that the actions taken by India in a bid to change the internationally recognised disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir were in violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” Khan’s office said in a statement.
“Any change in the demographic structure of Jammu and Kashmir would constitute a violation of the international law,” it said. Khan has already called the Prime Ministers of the UK and Malaysia, as well as the Turkish President, Saudi Crown Prince and King of Bahrain to apprise them about the Kashmir situation.
Iran’s President Rouhani, while underlining that all possible efforts must be made to keep the tensions low, stressed that the Muslims of Kashmir must be able to use their legal rights and interests to be able to live in peace, the statement said.
Iran did not comment on the call or what was discussed.