ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday strongly condemned and rejected the Indian government’s sinister design to change the demography of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) through new domicile law.
In her televised weekly news briefing, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the domicile law was aimed at changing the demographic structure of occupied Kashmir and undermining the exercise of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination through free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
She said that the timing of this illegal Indian action in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic was particularly reprehensible and reflected the opportunistic and morally bankrupt mindset of RSS-BJP.
The FO spokesperson said that voices from around the world continue to condemn the inhuman oppression of the people of Kashmir and discrimination against minority communities in India.
She said that Pakistan welcomes the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) statement issued on Wednesday, wherein it expressed deep concerns over India`s unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, and subsequent measures to alter demographics of IOK.
Responding to a question, she said that Pakistan had rejected all baseless statements from India regarding Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). “Our stance on Jammu & Kashmir dispute has been clear, consistent and in line with the UNSC resolutions. The dispute can only be resolved through implementing the relevant resolutions, calling for the exercise of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination through free and impartial plebiscite,” she added.
About Indian concerns over the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, the FO spokesperson said that Pakistan rejects Indian statement and added that Pakistan’s position on the matter was consistent, clear and based on principles and precepts of international law. India does not have any locus standi in the matter and cannot raise objections to the project, she added.
She said Pakistan rejects all baseless Indian assertions and actions aimed at misrepresenting facts. Like the so-called “political maps” issued last year by India, she said, this move was also legally void, contrary to reality, and in violation of the relevant UNSC resolutions. Such actions are testament to India’s irresponsible behavior, she added.
The FO spokesperson said that no illegal and unilateral steps by India could change the “disputed” status of Jammu and Kashmir, recognised as such by the international community, including the United Nations (UN).
She said that Pakistan would urge India not to make baseless assertions and to abstain from misleading the world community through unfounded claims on regions that constitute internationally-recognised disputed territories.
To a question about violation of ceasefire line by Indian forces, she said that the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB) had continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons.
In 2020, she said, the Indian occupation forces had so far committed 1,101 indiscriminate and unprovoked ceasefire violations, adding that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians was particularly deplorable and had resulted in the martyrdom of seven people and injuries to 86 others.
She said that these violations by Indian occupation forces were against all established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct.
Aisha said that Pakistan strongly condemns these egregious violations of international law and continues to call on India to respect Ceasefire Understanding (2003), investigate this and other such incidents of deliberate ceasefire violations and maintain peace along the LoC and the WB.
She also urged the Indian side to allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UNSC resolutions. By raising tensions along the LoC and the WB, India cannot divert attention from the grave human rights situation in the IOK, she added.
About the repatriation of Pakistani community from various countries of the world, the FO spokesperson said that in the past few days, 445 Pakistani citizens were repatriated from Dubai, 150 from France and other neighbouring countries, including Belgium, Italy and Poland, 105 from Spain, 250 from Canada, 257 from Iraq, 249 from Sudan, 250 from Jeddah, 237 from Indonesia and 331 Pakistani prisoners were brought back from Malaysia.