Pakistan warns Indian move on Kashmir will have 'global repercussions'

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan during the joint session of the Parliament in Islamabad on Aug. 6, 2019. (Photo courtesy: National Assembly of Pakistan)
Updated 07 August 2019

Pakistan warns Indian move on Kashmir will have 'global repercussions'

  • Islamabad will move international and humanitarian forums seeking help for Kashmiri people
  • India may resort to "ethnic cleansing" in disputed Kashmir, PM Khan says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the country will raise its voice on all international forums, including the United Nations Security Council and International Criminal Court, challenging India’s recent actions against Kashmir. 
Addressing the joint session of the Parliament, Khan said that he feared India may resort to “ethnic cleansing” in disputed Kashmir valley following revocation of its special status.
He said the move, which was a violation of the Indian constitution itself, was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “racist ideology” that would have “global repercussions.”
“The Indian government violated its own constitution to promote its ideology and scrapped occupied Kashmir’s special status,” said Khan. 
He added that Islamabad wanted better relations with its neighbors but Pakistan army would respond to any aggression from India’s side. 
He said that Pakistan had strongly conveyed to India that it was not involved in Pulwama attack and would never let its soil be used for terrorist activities but Modi government built on “war hysteria” to win the elections at home encashing anti-Pakistan sentiment.  
Khan said that India was all out to crush the freedom struggle in Kashmir with force and had turned the valley into a graveyard.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was leading the country’s delegation at the OIC meeting on Jammu and Kashmir hosted in Jeddah today, told Arab News that “Pakistan will use all diplomatic, legal and political options against the unilateral and unjust Indian decision of revoking special constitutional status of Indian occupied Kashmir.”
He said that the entire Kashmiri diaspora is in a state of sheer anguish. “The world did not only condemn the ruthlessly imposed decision by India on Kashmiri people but it rejected it out-rightly,” he added.
A day after the implementation of a special decree that aims to change the disputed region’s Muslim-majority demographics, the Kashmir issue has emerged as a major flashpoint for the international community. The restive valley remained under a complete lockdown with huge presence of security forces and blackout through phone and Internet service suspension.
Qureshi said, “Today, the whole world is questioning India’s credibility.”
To substantiate his point, he referred to voices raised from inside India against this move. “Indian legal experts, themselves, are saying the decision is unlawful and can be a big challenge for its government. It will create chaos within India.”
He said that Pakistan had already initiated efforts to lobby world powers. “Pakistan has not only taken up the issue with United States but also has started using its diplomatic contacts with China, Russia and other Powers of the world.”   
He said an American delegation headed by US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, is already in Pakistan and that the foreign office has taken up the issue with the US delegation.
He said that US President Trump already offered to mediate on Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India which India unfortunately rejected. 
“Now, Pakistan will use United Nations Security Council as well as other humanitarian and legal ways to take up the volatile issue of Kashmir to save the Kashmiri brothers,” Qureshi added. “Our legal experts are looking into all the possible dimensions to use the International Court of Justice or other legal platforms,” he said.    
Qureshi highlighted that India played a “spoiler” just when the Afghan peace process was making a smooth headway, which will likely put the crucial phase of reaching the Afghan peace deal “on back-burner.” He said, “Russia, China, Central Asia, and Pakistan all had the shared objective of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.”
Pakistan’s former foreign secretary and envoy to India, Salman Bashir termed India’s decision a “big mistake.”   
“Pakistan has many forums to take up the recent unacceptable, illegal decision about Indian-administered Kashmir. Foreign minister has already written a letter to the UNSC in which the Indian barbarism and brutalities are mentioned. The demographic changes which India is trying to bring through this move are also mentioned.”
Bashir added that “Pakistan can also take this matter up with the International Committee of Red Cross in Geneva as it is a case of armed occupation of a territory.”
But Pakistan’s former attorney general and an international law expert, Ashtar Ausaf Ali, told Arab News that Pakistan cannot move the ICJ in this case as it does not involve violation of a treaty. It was a bilateral agreement and the ICJ is not the right forum for this case, he said.
“The presidential decree is not the way to bring in a change so it can be challenged in any Indian court including their Supreme Court,” said Ali.


Pakistan ‘wants to play its role’ for peace in Middle East – FO

Updated 12 January 2020

Pakistan ‘wants to play its role’ for peace in Middle East – FO

  • Work on foreign minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States being done
  • Pakistan’s strong relations with regional countries has made it an important player

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated on Thursday that the country was going to play its role in restoring peace in the Middle East by working with other international stakeholders in the region.

“Pakistan welcomes de-escalation and wants to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in the region. We have seen that indication in United States President [Donald] Trump’s speech and are evaluating its contours,” the country’s foreign office spokesperson, Aisha Farooqui, said in her weekly media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

She said that Pakistan’s geographical position, along with its strong relations with regional countries and the United States, had made it a significant player in the Middle East.

“Pakistan has maintained that war is not the solution to any issue and made it clear that it will not become part of any regional conflict,” she said.

The spokesperson noted that Islamabad had enhanced its efforts to defuse tensions in the region and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had contacted his counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and many other important states in this connection.

“All the international players, including Saudi Arabia, have said that the region cannot afford another war and asked for restraint from both parties [the US and Iran]. It’s a collective objective of all countries to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East,” she said.

Commenting on the foreign minister’s upcoming visit to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the US, she said that “work on these tours has already started and they will take place as soon as dates are finalized with the respective countries.”

“We are very mindful for our brotherly and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other regional countries. Pakistan and the US also enjoy longstanding relations and have contacts with each other through multiple forums including political and military leadership,” Farooqui said, adding that the foreign office had established a task force to continuously monitor the situation in the Middle East and inform the government about it along with its suggestions on a daily basis.

The spokesperson expressed hope that recent developments in the Middle East would not affect the ongoing Afghan peace process.

“Pakistan hopes that progress made on Afghan peace process will not come to a halt and the world community will not lose its focus as a result of the ongoing tensions in the Middle East,” she said.

Asked about the safety of Pakistani nationals in Iraq, she said the country’s embassy in Baghdad was on the alert to deal with any emergency situation.

“We are concerned about the safety of Pakistani citizens in Iraq and have issued an advisory in this regard. We have also instructed our mission in Baghdad to remain vigilant to deal with any emergency,” Farooqui said.