Pakistan asks India to ‘halt and reverse’ its J-K move on Article 370
Pakistan on Monday asked the Indian government to “halt and reverse” its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, contending such a unilateral step cannot change the state’s status as an “internationally recognised disputed territory”.
Foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood summoned Indian envoy Ajay Bisaria to the foreign ministry to convey a “strong demarche” or formal diplomatic representation on actions taken by India to split Kashmir into two Union territories and to revoke constitutional provisions giving the state its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
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“The Foreign Secretary called upon India to halt and reverse its unlawful and destabilising actions, ensure full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and refrain from any further action that could entail serious implications,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
A statement issued earlier in the day described Kashmir as an “internationally recognised disputed territory” and said no “unilateral step” by India could change this “disputed status as enshrined in” the UN Security Council resolutions. Pakistan would use all options to “counter the illegal steps”, it added.
Mahmood also told the Indian envoy that Pakistan rejected and condemned “these illegal actions” and condemned “preceding pre-meditated steps” such as the lockdown of Kashmir, deployment of additional troops and house arrest of Kashmiri leaders.
Leaders of all Pakistani parties also joined hands to oppose India’s action, describing it as unacceptable and an “act of treason” against the UN.
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 Pakistan visit on Monday.
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 UNSC and to consult with China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries on the matter.
Opposition Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the developments and alleged atrocities by Indian forces in Kashmir were continuing. President Arif Alvi summoned a joint session of Parliament on Tuesday to discuss the Indian government’s decision.
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