No unilateral step can change Kashmir status: Pak on scrapping of Article 370
Pakistan on Monday rejected the Indian government’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, saying such a unilateral step cannot change the state’s status as an “internationally recognised disputed territory”.
The Pakistan government will use all options to “counter the illegal steps”, the Foreign Office spokesman said. Leaders of all Pakistani parties joined hands to oppose India’s action, describing it as unacceptable and an “act of treason” against the United Nations. Follow live updates here.
Indian home minister Amit Shah stunned Parliament with four proposals to split Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which gives the state its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
Watch Amit Shah move resolution on Article 370:
A statement from the Foreign Office spokesman said: “Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today by the Indian Government regarding the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
Kashmir is an “internationally recognised disputed territory”, it said, adding: “No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.”
These measures won’t be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, which will exercise “all possible options to counter the illegal steps” as a party to this international dispute, the statement said.
Pakistan reaffirmed its “commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support” to the Kashmiri people for realising their “inalienable right to self-determination”.
Foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a TV channel from Saudi Arabia, where he is on a pilgrimage, that Pakistan will step up diplomatic efforts to prevent the order from taking effect. “India is playing a very dangerous game by changing the status of Kashmir through illegal acts,” he said.
He added, “Today, India has again revived and internationalised the Kashmir issue. This will not solve the problem, rather it will escalate it.”
Qureshi further said in a tweet: “We intend to firmly highlight our stance in our meetings with the US delegation visiting Pakistan and with the international community at large.”
The Trump administration’s pointperson for South Asia, Alice Wells, was set to begin a visit to Pakistan on Monday.
Leaders of Pakistan’s opposition and ruling parties were on the same page in opposing the development. Opposition PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif condemned the decision to revoke Article 370 and said it was “unacceptable” and an “act of treason” against the UN.
Sharif called on the Pakistani leadership to demand an emergency session of the UN Security Council and to consult with China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries on the development. He said India’s decision was a test for US President Donald Trump. “Did Trump really offer to help resolve the issue or was it just a gimmick?” he said.
Opposition Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the developments and alleged atrocities by Indian forces in Kashmir were continuing.
“Atrocities in IOK unabated. Extremist Indian govt’s intentions clear. President must immediately summon joint session of Parliament in wake of Indian aggression in IOK,” he tweeted.
President Arif Alvi summoned a joint session of Parliament on Tuesday to discuss the Indian government’s decision. The session will review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control, and suggest a plan of action for the government.
The army chief, Gen Qamar Bajwa, will chair a Corps Commanders Conference in Rawalpindi on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Kashmir and “Indian aggression along the Line of Control”, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.